Somali Pirates Release Korean Sailor

    December 13, 2007 09:07

    All 20 crewmembers including a South Korean sailor of the Golden Nori, a Japanese chemical tanker, were released by Somali pirates on Wednesday. The tanker was hijacked in waters near Somalia in October. Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Hee-yong said they were released around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Korean time. “The tanker is currently traveling to the United Arab Emirates under the escort of a U.S. naval ship."

    He said all crew are safe, and a consul at the Korean Embassy in the UAE will interview the released Korean sailor after the tanker arrives.

    The South Korean is a chief engineer identified as Chun (48). The pirates fled after leaving the Golden Nori at Bosasso Port in northeastern Somalia. A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said the Japanese tanker company solved the issue on its own by paying the ransom. The Golden Nori carrying a shipment of 40,000 tons of benzene was passing the Gulf of Aden east of Somalia on Oct. 28 when it was kidnapped by the pirates. Originally, two South Korean sailors were on board the tanker, but the other, another chief engineer identified as Han (53), escaped when the pirates seized the tanker and returned home safely.

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