Yonhap News Agency on January 5, South Korea’s Blue House spokesman Kang Minshuo said at a press conference on the 5th that President Moon Jae-in instructed that the South Korean ship was detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the Blue House National Security Office and the relevant departments closely consulted on the response.
Kang Minshuo said that Moon Jae-in gave the above instructions after listening to the report of the director of the National Security Office, Xu Xun, the day before.
Kang Minshuo said that the government will respond to the incident strictly and urgently convene a video conference of the relevant departments at about 4:56 p.m. the day before. At 9 a.m. this morning, the National Security Room-centered, relevant departments and the National Intelligence Agency met to share relevant information and seek solutions.
According to Reuters, an Iranian government spokesman refuted the allegations that Iran’s seizure of a South Korean ship amounted to hostage-taking, saying that South Korea had withheld $7 billion of Iranian funds.
According to Yonhap News Agency, at about 3:20 p.m. South Korean time on the 4th, the Korean transport ship “Korean Chemistry” bound for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran.
The ship carried 5 Korean crews, 11 Myanmar crews, 2 Indonesian crews and 2 Vietnamese crews, a total of 20. In response to the incident, the South Korean Qinghai destroyer “Cuiyu” arrived in the sea near the Strait of Hormuz on the 5th.
According to the Iranian Fars News Agency, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran seized a Korean-flagged tanker in the Gulf on the 4th on the grounds that it “has repeatedly violated laws and regulations related to the marine environment”.
The tanker carried about 7,200 tons of petrochemicals, and its crew came from South Korea and several Southeast Asian countries. The ship was seized and docked in southern Iranian ports and handed over to the local judiciary.