BUSAN, South Korea, April 5 (UPI) -- There was no word from a South Korean oil tanker believed to have been seized by Somali pirates about 900 miles southeast of the Gulf of Aden, officials said.
The 300,000-ton supertanker Samho Dream was hijacked Sunday en route from Iraq to Louisiana with five South Korean and 19 Filipino crew members aboard, Yonhap news agency reported Monday.
The ship, owned by Samho Shipping Co., did not have guards on board and was not accompanied by armed ships because it was sailing in an area not frequented by pirates, shipping officials at the company's headquarters in Busan said.
A South Korean Navy destroyer, in the region for anti-piracy operations, was orderedSunday to sail toward Somali waters to see if it could find the ship.
The South Korean government said it would leave any direct negotiations with the hijackers to Samho to ensure the crew members' safety was not jeopardized.