A police trooper stands guard near the Aden port in Aden, Yemen November 16, 2019. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman/File Photo
SEOUL - 19 November 2019: Houthi rebels in Yemen seized three boats carrying two South Koreans and 14 others in the Red Sea this week, and all of them have been confirmed to be safe, Yonhap News Agency reported quoting Seoul's foreign ministry as saying on Tuesday.
The Iran-linked militia captured them and the three vessels -- two tugboats and a drilling rig -- at 3:50 a.m. (Korea time) on Monday in waters about 15 miles west of Yemen's Kamaran Island. They were on the way to the Berbera port in Somalia after departing from Jizan, Saudi Arabia.
They have been taken to the Salif port in Hodeidah, Yemen, the officials said.
The two Koreans were aboard a tugboat and a drilling rig that belong to the South Korean firm Woongjin Development Co.
Reports say that the Houthi rebels claim that the vessels violated their territorial waters.
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a senior Houthi official, said that the Yemeni Coast Guard is checking to see whether the seized ship belongs to the countries of aggression or to South Korea, "in which case it will be released after completing legal procedures."
Seoul officials were first informed of the seizure after one of the two South Koreans sent a social media message to their company.