President Park Geun-hye offered a fresh apology this morning for the messed-up government response to the deadly sinking of the ferry Sewol, promising sweeping reforms to upgrade the country’s safety standards.
The nationally televised address came about a month after the Sewol went down on April 16, leaving more than 300 people, mostly high school students, dead or missing and the entire nation grieving and wondering bitterly why more lives could not have been saved.
‘As president responsible for the people’s lives and safety, I offer a heartfelt apology for the pains the people have suffered, The ultimate responsibility for failing to respond properly to this accident lies with me.’ Park said
Cursory safety checks on the ship, insufficient safety training for the crew and other problems were also blamed.
The crisis dealt a blow to Park’s leadership, sending her approval ratings tumbling to one of the lowest levels since she took office last year. Candlelight vigils mourning the victims have often turned into protests against Park and her government.
Park said she decided to dismantle the Coast Guard for responding poorly to the accident and its responsibilities will be transferred to other agencies, including the ministry of national safety to be established.
Source: Busan eFM News