Seok leaves hospital as national hero
Seok, who captained the 11,500-ton Samho Jewelry, was shot several times by pirates during the rescue in January and has gone through several rounds of surgery. Eight pirates were killed and five others were captured in the successful naval operation, with 20 other Samho Jewelry crewmembers rescued unscathed.
Seok has been credited with ensuring a successful rescue by stalling for time by zigzagging the ship after armed pirates ordered he move the vessel toward the Somali coast.
His courage made him a national hero in Korea and recently earned him a state order called the Dongbaek Medal of the Order of Civil Merit.