The Dai Hong Dan is a General cargo vessel built by Chongjin Shipyard in Huichon, North Korea, in 1978. It is currently decommissioned or lost. It had a gross tonnage of 6390 tons. But did you know that the US helped the North Koreans from Somali Pirates?
Somali Pirates seized a North Korean cargo vessel in 2007. An American Warship answered their distress call. The Americans took over the ship and gave medical assistance to the North Koreans. After the incident, the North Korean media expressed gratitude to the US.
The Dai Hong Dan Incident
The North Korean cargo ship Dai Hong Dan was hijacked by pirates near Mogadishu in October 2007. The crew was able to retake the vessel by storming the bridge and engineering spaces, killing one pirate in the process. Six Korean sailors were injured during the fight, three of them critically.
When the North Korean cargo ship MV Dai Hong Dan was attacked and briefly seized by Somali pirates off the coast of Somalia. The pirates were defeated the next day by the ship’s crew, with the assistance of a US naval vessel.
The nearest coalition force in the area was the USS James E. Williams, a guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. James E. Williams arrived at the scene and immediately dispatched an SH-60B helicopter and a VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) team to secure the area. The injured crew members were then treated by Navy medical personnel. (Source: We Are The Mighty)
The Reason Behind the Seizure
The incident occurred about 70 miles or 110 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. The North Korean cargo ship Dai Hong Dan was boarded and captured by a group of Somali pirates.
The Dai Hong Dan was transporting sugar from India to Mogadishu, a cargo it had already delivered. The pirates were the same dock workers who ensured the ship’s safe passage into and out of Mogadishu’s port facilities. The captured pirates were presumably held aboard the North Korean vessel to face justice in the DPRK.
According to North Korean sources, the ship had just unloaded its cargo in the Somali capital when seven armed pirates disguised as guards boarded it and detained its 22 sailors in the steering room and an engine room. They then forced the ship to sea and demanded a $15,000 ransom. (Source: We Are The Mighty)
The Revolt Against the Somali Pirates
Responding to the vessel’s distress signal, the USS James E. Williams approached the ship the next day and deployed an SH-60B helicopter and a VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) team to secure the scene.
Meanwhile, the North Korean sailors attacked their captors and took some weapons with them. The pirates were defeated after a lengthy gunfight between the sailors and the pirates.
During the battle, one or two pirates were killed, and the others were apprehended, three were wounded. Three of the six Korean sailors injured required medical attention provided by American personnel. (Source: We Are The Mighty)
The Aftermath of the Event
The North Korean press (KCNA) issued an unprecedented positive statement, thanking the US for their assistance and emphasizing the successful US-North Korean collaboration during the incident.
We feel grateful to the United States for its assistance given to our crewmen. This case serves as a symbol of the DPRK-U.S. cooperation in the struggle against terrorism. We will continue to render international cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the future, too.KCNA, North Korea’s State News Agency
(Source: We Are The Mighty)
Image from Wikipedia