Like many other nations, South Korea has be evacuating its citizens from harm’s way in Libya.  Just a few days ago, 198 Koreans (including disgraced stem scientist Lee Hwang-suk) were evacuated by air.

Now the Korean navy is getting in on the act.

The destroyer Choi Young is transporting 40 South Koreans from the Libyan capital of Tripoli to the nearby island nation of Malta.  The operation did face some hurdles:

The ship had planned to depart for Malta later Wednesday, but the plan was delayed to give passengers more time to make preparations, a foreign ministry official said.

The Choi Young, named after a Korea general 14th century general, is on an active cruise.  It had been on anti-piracy patrols off Somalia before it was called to Libya.  Some of the special operations troops it is carrying were involved in the January 21 rescue of the freighter Samho Jewelry from pirates.

About 380 South Koreans remain in Libya, most of whom will be evacuated by this weekend.  However, a quarter of those still in the country have stated a desire to stay behind.

UPDATE:  The Choi Young has safely transported 32 people to Malta.