South Korea denies direct negotiation with pirates for kidnapped nationals off Ghana's coast
The South Korean government says its policy of not directly negotiating with the kidnappers of South Korean nationals remains unchanged.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Noh Kyu-duk articulated the government’s stance during a regular media briefing on Tuesday after the ministry removed a press embargo and revealed the recent abduction of three South Koreans off the coast of Ghana.
Noh said the lifting of the embargo does not mean the government will negotiate to earn the release of the Koreans.
He said it only aims to strengthen “assistance” so negotiators will be able to exert more pressure on the kidnappers.
He said the government will take every possible measure to help negotiations with terrorist groups or pirates but will not negotiate with them directly.
Dozens of crewmen, including three South Koreans, aboard a fishing boat named Marine 711 were kidnapped by pirates in waters off Ghana on Monday of last week.
The Foreign Ministry initially put an embargo on media reports due to concerns they might hinder rescue efforts, but officials swiftly removed the embargo last weekend.