South Korea's icebreaker has launched an Antarctic mission to explore a melting ice shelf and study its impact on climate change and the ecosystem.

The Korea Polar Research Institute(KOPRI) said that the Araon left the southern New Zealand port town of Lyttelton on Tuesday to sail for the Larsen C ice shelf. 

The Larsen C is the fourth-largest ice shelf in Antarctica with a thickness of 200 to 900 meters. Its collapse or melting is closely related to the rise of sea level. 

KBS reporters will cover the science vessel's journey and exploration onboard the ship.