Choi Jong-gun, the first vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, returned to Korea on the 14th, who went to Iran to release the Korean Kemiho crew. “I believe the Iranian government’s action against ships and crew will be prompt,” said Choi.
On the 10th-12th, Vice Minister Choi met with a senior Iranian government official and demanded the early release of sailors and ships. It also discussed Iran’s freeze of funds in Korea.
He said, “We couldn’t come up with the result of an early release, but both Korea and Iran have taken a big step towards that outcome.” Regarding the evaluation of the empty-handed return, he replied, “If you look at the frame of the early release, it wasn’t done. However, it was clearly demanded of what the Iranian side would ask for. The Iranian government will be struggling with that.”
“The ship and the funds are not linked,” he said. “However, we will closely examine these events as they occurred at similar times in circumstances and time, so that the two issues can be positively and quickly brought out.”
Regarding the frozen fund issue, “It is not a matter of our will. The US administration imposed independent sanctions on Iran, which led to a situation in which our financial system, which is very closely related to the US, has no choice but to comply.” “At the time of entering, we are reviewing what we can do on our own and what can be achieved through consultations and various processes with the United States,” he said.
He predicted the possibility of prolonging negotiations, saying, “This should not be framed as a negotiation,” and “Once, even in the state system of Iran, detained ships and crew will try to proceed according to their own judicial procedures.” “The early release of detention of ships, especially crews, is the most important issue. So, we have continuously conveyed our demands and will to Iran. There are also people within the Iranian government who feel uncomfortable with this situation. I said.
Iran captured the Korean Kemi for marine pollution. When asked about the evidence related to the judicial process, he said, “I didn’t get anything clear about it. This will be an important spectator point in the future.”
Reporters Lee Hae-jun and Park Hyun-ju [email protected]