The FINANCIAL — Somali pirates have seized a South Korean fishing boat with 43 sailors in Kenyan waters, South Korea's news agency Yonhap reported on October 17, according to RIA Novosti.
Two South Koreans, two Chinese and 39 Kenyans were aboard the 241-ton Kenya-registered Keummi 305 trawler when it was attacked on October 9 in the waters off Kenya's Lamu Island, the agency said, referring to South Korea's Foreign Ministry.
A South Korean national living in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa told Yonhap that the boat had been in the area for about a month fishing for crab before being seized and taken to Harardhere, a pirate stronghold north of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
"Given past instances, it would put the hostages in even more danger if the government tried to negotiate directly with the pirates," the agency quoted a ministry official as saying. "We're trying to find out more about the incident using all possible channels."
The Keummi 305 had been fishing in waters considered safe from pirates since the area was more than 400 kilometers away from the pirates' base and the Kenyan navy sent regular patrols, the agency said.
Somali pirates have been active off Somalia as the country has had no functioning central government for two decades.