South Korean president apologizes for ferry disaster

Eurasia News

SEOUL: The South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday apologized for her government’s failure to prevent a ferry disaster that left hundreds of people dead or missing.

“I don’t know how to apologize for the failure to prevent this accident, and for the insufficient first response,” Park said in a statement to the cabinet shown on national television.

“I am sorry to the people and heavy-hearted that many precious lives were lost,” she added.

Her apology came two days after her Prime Minister Chung Hong-Won resigned amid harsh criticism of the government’s weak performance in the aftermath of the disaster.

On April 16, the Sewol ferry with 476 people on board sank off the South Korean coast, only 174 people were rescued. The bodies of 187 people have been retrieved as the search for those unaccounted for continues.