By Libya Herald staff
Tripoli, 20 January 2014:
The local boss of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) was kidnapped early this morning . . .[restrict]as he was motoring home.
Details of the abduction are scarce but it is understood that Han Seok-woo was seized from his vehicle by four gunmen.
His abduction was confirmed overnight by the South Korean foreign ministry in Seoul, which said it knew no reason for the crime and that no ransom demand had been received.
According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Han has worked in the KOTRA office in Tripoli since 2012. Based on the 18th floor of Tripoli Tower, Han was the sole permanent Korean employee but was assisted by up to four interns sent from Korea.
According to KOTRA’s Tripoli branch website, last August the year-on-year trade volume between South Korea and Libya stood at close to $949 million, with the majority of Korean sales being motor vehicles. However South Korean contractors are already at work on major construction projects stalled by the revolution such as the completion of Tripoli’s Marriott Hotel.
Han told a high-level environmental conference in Tripoli last June, that one of Libya’s biggest challenges was its poor infrastructure. He said that the South Koreans wanted to help build the new Libya.
“We do not do it to gain money but to find new ways of cooperating with Libya in the environment sector” he said, “Korea is involved in all sectors in Libya and we want to act as a bridge between Korean and Libyan companies” . [/restrict]