South Korean vessels have not been attacked by pirates this year while piracy on the whole has dropped significantly worldwide, the South Korean government said Thursday.
During the January-September period, the number of ships attacked by pirates throughout the world came to 188, down 19.3 percent from the 233 attacks that took place during the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
In addition, the number of ships actually taken hostage by pirates dropped by more than half to 10 from 23 over the cited period.
The ministry said such a drop may have been caused by international efforts to curb piracy in waters near Somalia, where pirate activities had been most frequent at least until last year.
No South Korean ship has been subject to any pirate attack since May 2011.
Still, South Korea continues to deploy a Navy destroyer and some 300 troops in waters near Somalia as part of international efforts to ensure safe passage of commercial vessels in the pirate-prone area.
As an apparent result, the number of ships attacked by pirates in Somali waters has dropped 87 percent on-year to just 10 in the January-September period from 70 last year, the ministry said in a press release.
However, piracy is growing in other areas, including in waters off Nigeria where the number of ships attacked by pirates has jumped 38 percent on-year to 29 as of the end of September.