South Korea on Tuesday sent a destroyer carrying 300 troops to the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, to continue the country’s anti-piracy mission there. Legal experts say the potential redeployment to the Strait of Hormuz requires parliamentary oversight. The Justice Party’s Kim Jong-dae believes in freedom of navigation but argues against joining the provocative US mission in the vital energy and shipping corridor, Presstv Reported.
The Strait of Hormuz has been a flashpoint in recent months following the increase of American naval forces in the region. The US is seeking to create a coalition there. Some voices in South Korea argue Seoul must participate due to its alliance with Washington.
South Korea and Iran have had warm relations for decades, establishing official diplomatic ties in 1962. Recently trade between the two states has been hampered by on again – off again US led sanctions. Tehran’s foreign ministry has said it hopes South Korea can remain neutral – and not participate in the US coalition.