S.Korea sends destroyer to Somalia Sea after pirates seize tanker

Published: April 5, 2010

South Korea has sent a destroyer to intercept a supertanker carrying as much as $170 million worth of crude oil that was seized by Somali pirates, officials said on Monday.
The South Korean-operated, Singapore-owned Samho Dream, which can carry more than 2 million barrels of crude oil, was hijacked on Sunday en route from Iraq to the United States, in the latest sign the sea gangs are targeting bigger quarry.
“The government has dispatched our Cheong-hae naval unit to the waters of the Indian Ocean, where the ship hijacked by Somali pirates is assumed to be,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
South Korea’s anti-piracy Cheong-hae unit has a destroyer in the area to protect its commercial vessels. Local media said the destroyer, which can travel faster than the supertanker, would be able to reach the ship before it could reach any port.
The tanker’s crew of five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos was taken hostage when it was seized about 1,560 km (970 miles) east of the Somali coast.

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