SOUTH Korea's merchant shipping fleet has surpassed the 10 million gross tonnes (gt) mark for the first time, the Korea Shipowners' Association says. The combined tonnage of Korean-flag ocean-going vessels stood at 10.15 million gt at the end of September, sources said. The figure ranked ninth in the world on the basis of Lloyd's statistics. In September alone, 10 new vessels were commissioned by Hanjin Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Korea Marine Transport and Wooyang Shipping, the sources said. The 10 million mark came 43 years after a Korean-flag vessel was first commissioned on the transpacific route, the sources said. The Korean merchant fleet, which stood at 100,000 gt in the early 1960s, rose to nearly one million gt in 1972, five million gt in 1980, six million gt in 1981, seven million gt in 1983 and nine million gt in 1990.