The Aegis destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG-95). Photo via Navsource.
In the Telstar Logistics Situation Room, our analysts are tracking a story about recent skirmishes between US Navy vessels and modern-day pirates off the coast of Africa. Even stranger, one of the ships rescued by the US Navy belongs to North Korea. CNN reports:
The crew members of a North Korean freighter regained control of their ship from pirates who hijacked the vessel off Somalia, but not without a deadly fight, the U.S. Navy reported Tuesday.
When the battle aboard the Dai Hong Dan was over, two pirates were dead and five were captured, the Navy said.
Three wounded crew members from the cargo ship were being treated aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams.
The captured pirates were being held aboard the North Korean vessel, the Navy said.
The bandits had seized the ship's bridge, while the crew kept control of the steering gear and engines, the Navy said.
The Koreans moved against the attackers after the Williams -- responding to reports of the hijacking -- ordered the pirates to give up their weapons, according to the Navy.
When the crew members stormed the bridge, the deadly battle began. After the crew regained control, Navy sailors boarded the Dai Hong Dan to help with the injured.
North Korea and the United States have no diplomatic relations. VideoWatch why the U.S. helped the North Koreans Â»
The incident took place about 70 miles northeast of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, the Navy said.
It is the second incident of piracy reported in recent days. A second U.S. Navy destroyer was searching waters off Somalia for pirates who hijacked a Japanese-owned ship, military officials said.
Over the weekend, gunmen aboard two skiffs hijacked the Panamanian-flagged Golden Nori off the Socotra archipelago near the Horn of Africa, said Andrew Mwangura, a spokesman for the Kenyan-based Seafarers' Assistance Program.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke has been pursuing the pirates after entering Somali waters with the permission of the troubled transitional government in Mogadishu, U.S. officials said Monday. In recent years, warships have stayed outside the 12-mile limit when chasing pirates.
Two military officials familiar with the details confirmed the ongoing operation.
The Navy's pursuit of the pirates began Sunday night when the Golden Nori radioed for help. The Burke's sister ship, the USS Porter, opened fire and sank the pirate skiffs tied to the Golden Nori's stern before the Burke took over shadowing the hijacked vessel.
When the shots were fired, it was not known the ship was filled with highly flammable benzene. U.S. military officials indicate there is a great deal of concern about the cargo because it is so sensitive.