Saturday, November 10, 2007

North Korea Thanks the USA

No, they're not North Korean - this is from the MBC TV show called 고맙습니다, "thank you".

This is interesting and it's so rare that I'm going to give it its own post rather than updating the original topic.

A few days ago a North Korean ship was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The US Navy had a destroyer in the area and came to help: Whaaa? Koreans repel attack off Somalia.

Well, since there is just no way to spin it negatively and it would make them look like asses if they didn't say thanks, North Korea has thanked the US for its help. Okay, that IS a negative interpretation. Maybe it is a new season in North Korean - US diplomacy and it's sincere. I hope so.

N.Korea Thanks U.S. for Help Against Pirates

In a rare show of gratitude, North Korea officially thanked the U.S. for helping the crew of a North Korean cargo ship hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast last week. The official Korean Central News Agency said Pyongyang thanked Washington for helping the crew of the Dai Hong Dan take back control of their vessel from pirates, calling the case “a symbol of North Korea-U.S. cooperation in the war against terrorism.” The remarks are a further sign that the North is determined to improve ties with the U.S., as the disablement of its nuclear facilities is going smoothly and it is expected to be removed from the U.S.’ list of state sponsors of terrorism soon.

The news agency reported the sailors’ battle against the pirates in detail. According to the KCNA, seven pirates disguised themselves as security guards for the North Korean vessel while it lay at anchor off the Somali capital of Mogadishu. All crewmembers were detailed in the pilothouse and engine room. The pirates fired gunshots and demanded US$15,000 in cash, but crew disarmed two hijackers and exchanged gunshots with the rest. With the pilothouse taken by pirates, crewmembers sailed on into international waters using emergency steering gear and a compass while continuing to fight the pirates.

The U.S. destroyer James Williams and a helicopter came to the aid of the North Korean vessel, the KCNA said, and some 20 hours after the attack began, the hijackers surrendered. In the fight, one pirate was killed and six North Korean sailors were injured. A medic of the U.S. warship offered treatment to injured North Korean sailors.
You're welcome.

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