Somali Hostage Release: S. Korea Applauds Singaporean
The Korean government to honor Singaporean shipping company owner for his efforts to successfully rescue Korean sailors from Somali pirates. Four South Korean crew members were kidnapped by Somali pirates on April 30, 2011 aboard the MT Gemini, a tanker operated by Singapore-based Glory Ship Management, and after 582 days of captivity, they were set free after the firm paid an unspecified amount of ransom. (the South Korean government maintains a policy of not directly engaging with pirates) reports the Korea Times. On behalf of the South Korean government the shipping company led the long and arduous negotiations. During the talks, the owner…
South Korea To Resume Shipbuilding Talks With EU
South Korea's Commerce Ministry plans to resume talks in Brussels this week with the European Union to settle ongoing conflicts in the shipbuilding industry, ministry officials said. "We will send higher-level officials to Brussels for talks to discuss pending matters concerning the shipbuilding industry," a ministry official said. A delegation led by South Korean Deputy Commerce Minister Lee Hee-beom was scheduled to meet with EU counterpart, Deputy Director General Peter Carl, on March 14, the official said. Both parties would discuss various issues, including the EU's accusation that the South Korean government subsidizes the Korean shipbuilding industry and the transparency of Korean shipbuilders' bookkeeping, the official said.
EU Commissioner Complains To Korea On Shipbuilding
A senior European Union official reportedly voiced concerns to the South Korean government about overcapacity among Korean shipbuilders and that the EU would not allow unfair competition to kill its industry.
North Korea Test Fires Submarine Missile
North Korea test fired a submarine-based ballistic missile (SLBM) from its east coast on Wednesday, CNN reports quoting South Korean authorities. The missile flew about 500 kilometres before splashing into the Sea of Japan — the first missile of its kind to reach such a distance. The launch took place at 5:30 a.m. local time, according to a statement from the South Korean Foreign Ministry. The South Korean government and experts said the launch showed technical progress in the North's SLBM program. Having the ability to fire a missile from a submarine could help North Korea evade a new anti-missile system planned for South Korea and pose a threat even if nuclear-armed North Korea's land-based arsenal was destroyed, experts said.
S. Korea Ship Counter-piracy Measures Introduced
A law revision requires South Korean ships to build safe areas (citadels) against pirate attacks. The recently passed revision, passed in the National Assembly on Nov. 22, 2012, obliges the construction of a so-called "citadel" inside ships that have to sail through international waters reports the Yonhap News Agency. When the revision will go into effect is not yet known, but it is expected to come into force soon. Previously there had been no related laws requiring owners to provide such safe areas, crew members have been left vulnerable to pirate attacks. There have been a total of nine cases where South Korean sailors were kidnapped in waters off Somalia since 2006. Six of the cases involved Korean ships, while two were Japanese and one was Singaporean.
Japanese Ship Missing, Feared Hijacked
A Japanese cargo ship with 17 people on board has gone missing near Thailand and is feared hijacked, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said. The 6,594 dwt chemical tanker Global Mars left Malaysia's Port Klang on February 22 for India's Haldia with 6,000 tons of palm oil. Its last reported position on February 23 was west of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, 7 degrees 32 seconds north and 97 degrees 24 seconds east, the IMB said. South Korea's Maritime Affairs Ministry and a South Korean shipping firm said the ship's last contact was on February 22 when it was some 240 miles north of Indonesia. IMB said the fate of the 17 crew of the Panama-registered ship was not known. The crew comprised seven from South Korea and 10 from Mynmar.
Royal Caribbean cuts South Korean Ports from China Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd will remove visits to South Korean ports from its China cruises, the firm said in a statement, amid rising tension between the two countries over Seoul's deployment of a U.S. missile defence system. In a post on its Chinese website, the U.S. cruise operator, one of the world's biggest, said it had changed its China-based cruises to remove visits to popular South Korean resorts because of "recent developments regarding the situation in South Korea". The move makes Royal Caribbean one of the first major travel firms to publicly stop or restrict trips to South Korea after media reports last week that Beijing had given guidance to tour operators in China to stop selling trips to the country.
Daewoo to Develop Iranian Shipyard
South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. (DSME) and the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) have signed an outline agreement to cooperate on developing the shipbuilding Industry in Iran. Under the deal with the Industrial Development and Renovation Organisation of Iran, Daewoo Shipbuilding will work on constructing a shipyard and related facilities in Iran, according to Yonhap News Agency. The parties plan to establish…
Intellian Antenna Systems Win Award
Intellian Technologies, marine satellite entertainment and communications provider, received a World Class Products award from the South Korean Government. Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, the company’s marine satellite tracking antenna systems were selected by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) during the recent certificate granting ceremony at the COEX InterContinental Hotel. MKE World Class Products represent over 10 percent of South Korea’s international market share, rank among the world’s Top-5 goods and have an international market scale of over $50m annually. “World class products and producers are anticipated to spearhead attaining this year’s export aim of $450m,” said Minister Yoon-ho.
Weather Hampers Search for Missing After Korean Trawler Sinks
More than 50 people remain missing a day after a South Korean fishing vessel sank in the Bering Sea off the coast of Russia's far eastern Chukotka region as severe weather conditions hampered a rescue operation, officials said on Tuesday. Eight people - a Russian official, a South Korean crew member, three Filipinos and three Indonesians - have been pulled from the water although the South Korean died of hypothermia, officials in Seoul said. U.S. rescue helicopters joined the search operation for several hours on Tuesday but failed to make headway, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won told a meeting of government officials. The South Korean government and Sajo Industries…
US Navy Completes Korea Ferry SAR Mission
With concurrence from South Korean commanders, the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) is departing waters around Jindo, South Korea April 22 after assisting with search and rescue operations near the site of the Korean passenger ferry Sewol. The completion of Bonhomme Richard's search and rescue mission comes after South Korean military leaders determined that current resources were sufficient to carry out future search and rescue operations utilizing ships and aircraft from the Republic of Korea.
Hanjin Sends SoS
As most of Hanjin Shipping Co's assets are stranded at sea or in ports world-wide, the the South Korean company is seeking to protect assets world-wide. Hanjin Shipping’s government-backed creditors are ready to provide the collapsed carrier with roughly 100 billion won ($90.60 million) of loans if Hanjin’s parent provides collateral, Fortune reports South Korean government officials as saying. Hanjin's collapse has left much of its fleet stranded at sea, unable to dock over fears that vessels be seized by creditors.
S. Korea, Denmark in Flag State Dialogue
Six government officials from South Korea are visiting the Danish Maritime Authority and, in this connection, they exchange experiences and knowledge about shipping, inspections and safety with the Danish authorities. The South Korean government officials are, inter alia, responsible for passenger ship safety in South Korea and are visiting Europe for other reasons as well. "This is a good example of how we exchange knowledge and experience with other countries. This dialogue is an important part of our endeavours to enhance safety…
EU Investigates Unfair Trade Practices
The European Union is to investigate alleged unfair trade practices by South Korean shipbuilders, a move that could lead to a World Trade Organization (WTO) case, Reuters reported. The move follows a complaint in October by the European shipbuilding industry that accused South Korea of subsidizing its shipyards to unfairly undercut the market. "We have looked carefully at the complaint of our industry and believe there are clear grounds for us to launch this investigation," European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said. "We are treating the concerns of EU shipbuilders with the utmost seriousness. If necessary we will take this all the way to the WTO," he said. The Commission -- the EU's executive branch -- will launch a five-month investigation under its Trade Barriers Regulation.
HMM Mulls Buying Hanjin's 37 Boxships?
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HHM), South Korean’s second largest shipping line, is believed to be looking into buying troubled carrier Hanjin Shipping's 37 container vessels, reports WSJ. HHM will be the first to look at Hanjin’s vessels, with the focus on five 13,000-container ships. But it isn’t certain HMM will find the money to buy the ships, which could go for around $90 million each. The South Korean government and Korea Development Bank (KDB), Hanjin’s biggest creditor, are believed to support HMM if the firm decided to acquire Hanjin assests.
North Korea Fires Anti-Ship Missiles
North Korea has test-fired newly deployed anti-ship rockets - three short-range KN-01 type missiles - with a reported range of 120km just weeks after the country claimed it tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile, , the North's media said. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has watched a test-firing drill of a new type of anti-ship rocket, which is being deployed at the military's naval units. Kim watched the drill of the "ultra-modern" rockets that flew at the designated altitude while accurately detecting and hitting the "enemy" warship…
EU To Propose Subsidy Program To Battle South Korea
The European Union is proposing to subsidize its embattled shipyards in a long-standing dispute over what it views as unfair competition from South Korea. The EU will make the proposal to an EU industrial council meeting in Sweden on May 15, said EU Ambassador to Korea Frank Hesske. Sweden is the current president of the 15-member group. The EU, which has been holding talks with South Korea about the issue for the past two years, could take the case to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but that could take many years, thus the move for a subsidy program of its own. Hesske said the South Korean government was supporting the Korean shipbuilding industry through debt forgiveness programs by state-controlled banks.
Tanker Owner in Spill Denies Wrongdoing
According to reports, the owner and operators of the tanker involved in South Korea's worst oil spill denied any wrongdoing, but offered sympathy to locals affected by the environmental fallout and their insurer agreed to accept claims for compensation. The Dec. 7 accident occurred after a barge owned by Samsung Group slammed into Hong Kong-registered tanker Hebei Spirit, which leaked 78,920 barrels of oil into western coastal waters. But the owner of Hebei Spirit, Hebei Spirit Shipping Co., and its operator, V. Ships, both denied wrongdoing at a press conference in Hong Kong on Thursday. The accident jeopardized the ecosystem and the livelihood of residents in the area, home to some of the country's most scenic beaches.
Ship Subsidy Agreement Hammered Out In Brussels
The European Commission and South Korea have signed an agreement aimed at allaying European concerns that South Korean shipyards charge unfairly low prices, the European Union's executive body said. But the Commission said in a statement it has already asked for consultations with South Korea, as allowed for under the new agreement, "in order quickly to clarify several issues of concern and receive answers to key questions." These talks will take place in Seoul on July 18 and 19. The Commission gave no details of what it wanted to discuss. "The Commission considers that the full implementation of Korea's commitments will constitute the…
Hanjin Chairman: Firm Lost a 'game of chicken' with Rivals
Hanjin's failure largest ever among container shippers; collapse has disrupted global trade networks. The collapsed Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd could not compete against global rivals that were supported by their governments, the chairman of its parent firm told a South Korean parliamentary hearing on Tuesday. The world's seventh-largest container shipper sought court receivership in late August after its creditors led by a state bank halted further support, stranding $14 billion in cargo and sending waves through global trade networks.
Korea to Create $1.2bln Shipping Fund
The South Korean government will create a US$1.2 billion ship investment fund to aid the shipping industry which has been struggling due to decreasing global trade. A report by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said the fund will help shippers buy and sell vessels with less financial risk. The fund, aims to "aid the shipping industry which has been struggling due to decreasing global trade". Fund will "help shippers buy and sell vessels with less financial risk as the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. and the Korea Maritime Guarantee Insurance Co.
EU To Ban Subsidies, Monitor S. Korea
The European Commission plans to bar state aid to European shipyards from the year-end, but could reinstate it within months if South Korea fails to halt alleged unfair help to its shipbuilders, an EU source said. The Commission is also threatening to launch a WTO complaint against South Korea if it does not reform its shipbuilding practices by next May. The European Union executive decided at its weekly meeting to press ahead with its previous intention to halt government operating aid to European shipyards from the end of this year. But in an olive branch to European shipbuilders, which say the aid should be extended to help them face alleged unfair competition from South Korea…
Daewoo Shipbuilding May Post Loss of Over US$4.6 Bln
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) is expected to log an operating loss of over 5 trillion won (US$4.4 billion) this year, up by some 1 trillion won from previous forecasts, reports Yonhap. The outlook follows a recent audit by the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), the main creditor of the troubled company, which has revealed additional losses from overseas branches, according to the sources. The South Korean government has suspended a push for creditors to bail out DSME after this huge estimated losses to a canceled order and rising costs in the industry.