Regional piracy response

Call for region to boost efforts.

Regional response to piracy, armed robbery

By Park Hee-kwon

On May 19, 2015, the South Korean ship Petro Alpha was attacked by pirates while crossing the Strait of Malacca. Armed with knives, the pirates assaulted the crew and robbed them of their personal belongings and cash. The Singaporean MT Ocean Energy, attacked about two weeks earlier in the same strait, was less lucky: after threatening the crew members at gunpoint and hijacking the tanker, the pirates made off after transferring the ship’s oil cargo to another vessel.

These incidents are just two examples of a continuing spate of pirate attacks on vessels transiting the narrow stretch of water located between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Needless to say, acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships are a source of great concern to the international community. Given the recent sharp rise in pirate attacks in Southeast Asia, East Asian states are particularly apprehensive about piracy and armed robbery.

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