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No request via diplomatic channel from U.S. on forming coalition at Hormuz Updated: 2019-07-12 09:38:08 KST

South Korea says it has not yet received a request from the U.S. to join a military coalition to guarantee passage through the Strait of Hormuz.
At a press briefing on Thursday, Seoul's foreign ministry said Seoul is concerned about the escalating tensions at the area and is communicating with the U.S.

"The goverment has concerns about the mounting tensions in the Middle East. It is our view that freedom of navigation and free trade should not be threatened. We are frequently communicating with the U.S. on the matter."

An anonymous official at the ministry later told reporters that there's been no request from Washington through diplomatic channels for South Korea to deploy forces to patrol the waterway.
If a request is made, Seoul says, it will review the matter with related government agencies.

This comes after the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford told reporters earlier this week that Washington is engaging with a number of countries to form a military coalition to ensure free navigation in the Strait.
He added the U.S. will be able to see which nations support the plan in the next couple of weeks.

Tensions have risen in the Strait of Hormuz as Iran threatens to close the waterway in protest against U.S. attempts to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal.
Nearly a fifth of the world's oil passes through the Strait.
Six oil tankers and a U.S. drone have been attacked at the area since May.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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