Yonhap news on January 13th that a South Korean government delegation recently went to Iran to discuss the detention of South Korean ships by Iran, but the two sides failed to narrow their differences of opinion and the negotiations ended in fruitless.
The South Korean government will continue to negotiate with Iraq.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced the results of the first visit to Iraq by official (vice minister) Choi Jong-jian on the 13th, saying that the government will continue to discuss with Iran the release of the detained South Korean ship and actively provide consular assistance to the crew.
Choi Jong visited Iran from 10th to 12th to consult with people from all walks of life on the release of detained Korean ships and freeze Iranian funds in South Korea.
Choi Jong-kyung solemnly protested against Iran’s detention of South Korean crew and ships and demanded that people be released as soon as possible.
He said that Iran’s move is closely related to the personal safety of South Korean citizens and asked Iran to guarantee that the crew receive consular assistance in a safe environment.
The Iranian side insists that the detention of South Korean ships is a technical issue involving environmental pollution, and undertakes to advance judicial procedures fairly and quickly, provide humanitarian treatment to the crew, and arrange consular visits.
Choi Jong-jian said that a week after the detention, Iran still did not produce any evidence of the pollution of the sea by the South Korean ship, and asked Iran to produce specific evidence acceptable to the South Korean side and lift the detention measures as soon as possible.
In addition, Iran said that South Korea illegally frozen the funds of Iranian banks in South Korea on the grounds of U.S. sanctions against Iraq.
Choi Jong-kyeon said that because South Korea and the U.S. financial system are closely linked, in order to maximize the use of the funds of the won, it is inevitable to negotiate with the United States. He said that Iran should face the reality and actively cooperate in seeking the use of the won funds.