November 16, 2008 in Nation/World

Ship hijacked off Somali coast

 

Gunmen hijacked a cargo ship carrying 23 crew members, including five South Koreans, off the coast of Somalia, a South Korean official said today.

The 20,000-ton-class ship was seized by gunmen Saturday in waters 96 miles east of Somalia’s Aden port, the Foreign Ministry official said.

The condition and safety of the crew were not immediately known. The official said he has no information on whether the gunmen were asking for ransom.

Somalia, which has had no functioning government since 1991, is the world’s top piracy hot spot. It is located along the Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and is one of the world’s busiest waterways.

Seoul, South Korea

Kim Jong Il attends military festival

North Korea’s absolute leader Kim Jong Il has appeared in public at a military art performance, the communist country’s state news agency reported amid continued speculation about his health.

Kim and top military officers attended the 32nd military art festival, featuring army and navy performers, the country’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang on Saturday.

Kim “waved back to the enthusiastically cheering performers and congratulated them on their successful presentation,” the KCNA said, adding that Kim told the soldiers that art could make them better fighters.

However, the report – monitored early today in Seoul – did not say when and where Kim watched the performance.

South Korean and U.S. officials suspect Kim suffered a stroke and underwent a brain surgery in August.

From wire reports


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