South Korea delegation heads to Iran to search for launch of seized tanker -Yonhap

SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean delegation is heading to Iran on Wednesday to search for the launch of a chemicals tanker and its 20-member crew seized in Gulf waters by Iranian forces, Yonhap information company noted.

Iran denied on Tuesday it was making use of the ship and its crew as hostages, a day soon after it seized the tanker near the Strait of Hormuz when urgent a need for Seoul to release $7 billion in resources frozen underneath U.S. sanctions.

The seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi has been viewed as an attempt by Tehran to assert its calls for, just two weeks right before President-elect Joe Biden requires place of work in the United States. Iran wishes Biden to elevate sanctions that were being imposed by outgoing President Donald Trump.

Seoul’s international ministry experienced termed in the Iranian ambassador on Tuesday to get in touch with for early launch of the tanker and its crew of 20. Iran had mentioned the ship was held in excess of environmental violations.

In a report submitted to parliament, the ministry said South Korea is examining regardless of whether the ship violated global regulation by polluting the waters, as claimed by Tehran, but also whether or not Iran violated it in the course of the boarding and seizure process.

South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun is scheduled to pay a visit to Tehran on Sunday, a check out that was previously scheduled and for the duration of which a variety of bilateral difficulties will be discussed, the ministry said on Tuesday.

In reaction to the seizure, meanwhile, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism warned Japanese shippers to use added caution in operations in the location, an official at the ministry’s maritime bureau said.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha More reporting by Hyonhee Shin in Seoul and Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo Editing by Kenneth Maxwell