AsiaMiddle EastTankers

Iran frees Korean chemical tanker

Iran has finally released the Hankuk Chemi, a South Korean tanker and its captain today.

The ship had been detained since January when Iranian authorities seized the chemical tanker in the Strait of Hormuz off Oman, claiming it was polluting local waters, something denied by the ship’s Busan-based owner. The spat was part of a ploy by Iran to get South Korea to release frozen Iranian assets hit by US sanctions.

The South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement today the ship had left Iran after completing administrative procedures.

“The captain and sailors are in good health,” the ministry said.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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