Eric Yong Joong Lee Dongguk University, Korea
College of Law, Dongguk Univ., Pil-dong 3-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
On January 21, 2011, the Korean navy commandos rescued the twenty-one crewmen abducted and detained by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. The pirates captured alive were brought to Korea for trial and the prosecutor's office of Pusan sentenced the leader of the Somali pirate group to life-imprisonment. The other four pirates received imprisonment terms from 12 to 15 years. Regardless of these domestic legal punishments, this rescue operation has raised a few critical international legal questions. The primary objective of this paper is to answer these questions. This research analyzes the international legal characteristics of the Korean Navy's rescue operation. Then, a few case-studies of military rescue operation are carried out in order to justify the Korean Navy's rescue operation. The Korean Navy's rescue operation may be regarded as an act of forcible self-help and realization of existing international legal right.
Keywords: Somali Pirates, Daybreak in the Gulf of Aden, Forcible Protection of Nationals Abroad, UNCLOS, Self-Defense, Self-Help, Entebbe Raid.
The Full Text is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.14330/jeail.2012.5.1.02