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Hero captain attends national day

Omani ambassador Mohamed Salim Hamood Al Harthy (center left) poses next to Samo Jewlery skipper Seok Hae-kyun (center right) at Oman’s National Day celebrations in Seoul.(The Korea Herald)
Omani ambassador Mohamed Salim Hamood Al Harthy (center left) poses next to Samo Jewlery skipper Seok Hae-kyun (center right) at Oman’s National Day celebrations in Seoul.(The Korea Herald)
The skipper who helped thwart hijackers of Korean vessel the Samho Jewelry was a guest of honor at Oman’s 41st National Day celebrations in Seoul.

Captain Seok Hae-kyun suffered multiple bullet wounds when his 11,500-ton ship was taken by Somali pirates on Jan. 15. He was rescued by Korean commandos six days later.

The Busan resident had surgery in an Omani hospital before being flown to Korea’s Ajou University Hospital, from which he was released on Nov. 4.

Seok has been awarded the Dongbaek Medal of the Order of Civil Merit for his bravery in steering in a zig-zag manner to thwart the pirates that took control of the ship in the Indian Ocean.

He met Omani ambassador to Korea Mohamed Salim Hamood Al Harthy at the Islamic state’s celebrations at The Shilla Seoul on Friday.

Alharthy appeared in traditional dress at the celebration which included a photographic exhibition showcasing scenes from the country bordering the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Saudi Arabia in the southeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Nov. 18 is also the birthday of Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Bin Said who has introduced economic reforms and opened up the oil-rich country to the rest of the world since deposing his father in 1970.
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