SKorean warship rescues NKorean vessel off Somalia

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A South Korean navy warship has rescued a North Korean freighter by driving away a pirate ship chasing it off Somalia.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday the 4,500-ton-class South Korean warship sent a Lynx helicopter to assist the North Korean vessel after receiving a distress call earlier Monday that it was being chased by the pirate ship.

The statement said the pirate ship gave up chasing the North Korean ship and sped away shortly after snipers aboard the helicopter prepared to fire warning shots at it.

It said the North Korean ship later sent a thank you message to the South Korean ship.

Relations between the two Koreas have badly frayed since a conservative government in Seoul took power last year.

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