The United Nations will lead an eight-person team of marine pollution and civil protection experts being deployed today to assess the 7 December oil spill in the Republic of Korea, the worst in the Asian nation's history.

The team will comprise staff from the UN Environment Programme , the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the European Commission’s Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) and the European Maritime Safety Agency. It will offer advice on how to manage the emergency, remove the remaining oil and limit its spread.

Over 10,000 tons of crude oil were spilled when a barge slammed into a tanker, and they later hit beaches 100 kilometres south of Seoul on 8 December. That region is a crucial habitat for migrating birds and is home to an important fishing industry.

The UN-EC team will complement the Korean authorities’ efforts, and also suggest measures towards long-term recovery for the ecosystem of the area impacted by the spill.


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