South Korea plans to join a US-led naval force in the Middle East with a devastating naval unit to help protect oil tankers as it crosses the Strait of Hormuz, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday.
Tension between Iran and the United States has grown since Washington withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal last year and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.
The vulnerability of oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Iran in recent months to further deterioration of relations, prompting US officials to invite allies to join a planned task to protect maritime security.
The government of South Korea has decided to send the Cheonghae anti-piracy unit operating in waters off Somalia, possibly with helicopters, South Korean newspaper quoted an unnamed senior government official as saying.
The South Korean Defense Ministry said the government was considering ways to protect its vessels in the region but no decision had been made.
“It is clear that we have to protect our ships in crossing the Strait of Hormuz” said the deputy spokesman of the ministry.