South Korea sends naval units to Persian Gulf
South Korea plans to send a naval unit to the Strait of Hormuz to help protect oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. The unit, which includes a destroyer, will join the US-led naval force in the Persian Gulf.
According to the South Korean newspaper Maekyung, a high-ranking government official said that an anti-piracy naval unit which is currently in operation near Somalia will be deployed to the Persian Gulf along with several helicopters.
After several attacks against oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz and the seizure of a British tanker by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces, the United States invited South Korea, Japan, France, Germany, Australia, and other countries to join a maritime force led by the United States to protect shipments passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
Last week, John Bolton discussed the matter with South Korean officials when he visited the country.
The Cheonghae unit has been stationed in the Gulf of Aden since 2009, working to tackle piracy in partnership with African countries as well as the United States and the European Union.
According to Reuters, the 302-strong unit operates a 4,500-ton destroyer, a Lynx anti-submarine helicopter, and 3 speedboats, according to South Korea’s 2018 defense white paper.