South Korean deputy FM due in Tehran

TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (MNA) – South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-Kun is scheduled to visit Iran to hold talks over a recently seized tanker in the Persian Gulf waters, according to Korean media.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, the South Korean diplomat will leave Seoul for Tehran on Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported.

Based on the Korean news agency’s report, the diplomat will join a working delegation that arrived in Tehran earlier on Thursday to negotiate with the Iranian authorities for the release of the Korean sailors and the detained ship.

The naval force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) impounded on Monday a South Korean-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf waters for repetitive violation of maritime environmental law.

The South Korean vessel "Hancock Chimi", carrying 7,200 tons of petroleum chemicals, is currently docked at the port of Bandar Abbas so that its case will be handed over to the Iranian judiciary for legal proceedings.

However, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatbizadeh said on Thursday that the South Korean delegation’s Thursday visit to Tehran was aimed at negotiating Iran’s frozen financial resources.

“The delegation that has arrived in our country is part of a delegation led by the South Korean deputy foreign minister, which is set to travel to Tehran on Sunday,” Khatibzadeh said.

“The delegation’s trip was agreed upon before the seizure of the violating Korean tanker, and its main agenda is to discuss access to Iran’s financial resources in Korea,” he added.

MR/IRN84179054

News Code 168271

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