South Korea asks Iran to release detained ship

South Korea is aware of the detention of its vessel by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz and has already asked for its release as soon as possible, and has also sent its naval unit to the region, the country’s Foreign Ministry said.

Earlier, the British Organization for the Coordination of Maritime Trade (UKMTO) said that the Iranian authorities intercepted a foreign merchant ship. The Associated Press agency clarified that it was a South Korean tanker Hankuk Chemi, which was en route to the UAE. Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the US Fifth Fleet, said the US military monitored the situation. Iran has confirmed the detention of a South Korean ship due to oil pollution in the water.

According to the Foreign Ministry, in the afternoon on Monday, a South Korean ship carrying chemicals, which sailed in the waters of the Strait of Hormuz near Oman, “at the request of the Iranian services for investigation” began to sail towards the territory of Iran.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea and the Embassy of our country in Iran learned about the detention of our ship and requested (providing) security for the ship’s crew and the early release of the ship… There are a total of 20 people on board, including five South Korean citizens,” the South Korean Foreign Ministry said.

“The Ministry of Defense, as soon as it learned about the detention of our merchant ship by Iran, sent a Cheonhae unit to the waters near the Strait of Hormuz,” the South Korean Defense Ministry said.

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