Strait of Hormuz 0
21 January 2020

South Korea announced that “in consideration of the current situation in the Middle East, the government has decided to temporarily expand the Cheonghae [anti-piracy] Unit’s sphere of activity in order to guarantee safety of our people and the freedom of navigation of our vessels”; a defence official indicated that “we’ve made preparations for possible missions in the Hormuz Strait. But Cheonghae’s basic missions – anti-piracy activities and escorting ships – remain unchanged”. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson indicated that Seoul had “informed us that it wants to dispatch a part of its fleet in Aden to the region for patrolling missions, but outside the U.S. coalition, and we have told them that the decision is unacceptable”. A Pentagon spokesperson indicated that “we welcome our South Korean allies helping to ensure freedom of navigation in the Middle East by supporting the IMSC”.

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.