Thursday, November 8, 2007

NKorea Thanks US Over Piracy Standoff

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea expressed rare gratitude to the United States Thursday for helping one of its ships repel pirates, the latest sign of improving relations between the longtime foes as the North scales back its nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. Navy's help last week to North Korean crewmen fighting off Somali pirates was unprecedented in the half century of hostility between the Cold War foes, a spokesman for the Naval Historial Center in Washington said.

The Navy boarded the North Korean ship Dai Hong Dan to provide medical assistance at the crew's invitation after they had already overpowered and detained all pirates in the waters off Somalia.

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