Three South Korean crew members of a 455-ton fishing boat, along with two Greeks on board, were reportedly taken hostage in waters off the western coast of Africa late last month.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered the nation's anti-piracy Cheonghae Unit deployed to the Gulf of Aden to launch a search operation.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff immediately dispatched a 4,400-ton destroyer carrying some 30 UDT/SEAL members and Lynx multi-role choppers armed with 12.7-mm machine guns.
"The Munmu the Great ship, which set sail (toward the area) at 9 a.m. on March 28, is carrying out a mission normally in the vicinity of the Gulf of Guinea," the JCS spokesman Army Col. Roh Jae-cheon said at a press briefing.
It means the destroyer has arrived in the designated area, he added.
He was guarded about the details of the ongoing military operation.
In 2011, the Cheonghae Unit successfully carried out a gunfight operation to rescue the South Korean crew of a cargo vessel hijacked by Somali pirates.(Yonhap)