Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

South Korean ships seized near Yemen

A spokesperson for the joint coalition forces said they were taken into custody by Houthi rebels

Yemeni Red Sea port city Aden. AFP
Yemeni Red Sea port city Aden. AFP

Yemen's Houthi rebels have seized two South Korean ships off the southern coast of Yemen, a spokesperson for the joint coalition forces confirmed to The National.

“At 2am on Monday, the Houthi militia seized two South Korean ships, one carrying drilling equipment and its 28-person crew, which is formed of different nationalities, and a tanker carrying 500,000 barrels of oil and its crew," said Col Wathah Al Dubaish.

He said the vessels ships were taken to the shores of Kamaran island, at the southern end of the Red Sea in south-west Yemen, where they were forced to unload their cargo.

It is not yet clear what cargo they were carrying.

Col Al Dubaish said that the coalition forces informed the United Nations of the seizure this morning, but so far no action has been taken.

“This is a serious escalation that proves that the Houthi rebels have no real desire to seriously engage in the peace process” he said.

Yemen's Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Hadrami condemned the seizures, saying they pose a serious threat to international navigation of the southern Red Sea as he met the South Korean ambassador to Yemen on Monday, Yemen's official news agency Saba reported.

He called for the immediate release of the boats, and for the international community to condemn such acts that threaten the international peace and security.

Updated: November 18, 2019 09:55 PM

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