South Korea deploys warship to Libya in relation to South Korean national kidnapped

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The Star (Malaysia): Seoul said Thursday it had deployed a warship to Libya in an apparent show of force to secure the release of a South Korean national kidnapped along with three Filipinos in the North African country.

The 4,000-tonne vessel, Munmu the Great, which takes part in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, was now on its way to Libya, officials said.

In addition to “carrying out its duty of protecting commercial vessels, (the warship) is also preparing for all possibilities including the need for military support”, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP, without elaborating further.

The three Filipino engineers and a South Korean were abducted in an attack on a water project site in western Libya on July 6.

A spokesman for Seoul’s presidential office said the government was doing “its utmost with all the resources the country has”.

“His country and his president have never once forgotten him,” spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a statement.

“The government has been maintaining a close cooperation system with the government of Libya and other allies, such as the Philippines and the United States, since the day of the incident for his safety and release,” Kim said.

Since former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power and killed in 2011, foreign workers and diplomatic missions have frequently been targeted by militias or extremists such as the Islamic State group.
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