South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won bows after
announcing his resignation. REUTERS/Song Eun-seok/News1
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won announced his
resignation today over the government's poor response to the
April 16 ferry disaster, in which it was first announced that
everyone had been rescued.
The Sewol ferry sank on a routine trip south from the port of
Incheon to the traditional holiday island of Jeju.
More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers on a
field trip from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of
Seoul, have died or are missing and presumed dead.
The children were told to stay put in their cabins, where
they waited for further orders. The confirmed death toll on
Sunday was 187.
The resignation has to be approved by President Park
"Keeping my post too great a burden on the administration," a
sombre Chung said in a brief announcement. "...On behalf of
the government, I apologise for many problems from the
prevention of the accident to the early handling of the
"There are too many irregularities and malpractices in parts
of society that have been with us too long and I hope those
are corrected so that accidents like this will not happen
Chung was booed and someone threw a water bottle at him when
he visited grieving parents the day after the disaster.
Tempers have frayed over the slow pace of the recovery and
frequent changes in information provided by the government.
The Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education sent text
messages to parents that "All Danwon High School students are
rescued" in the hours after the disaster, media reported.
Park, who has the most power in government, was also booed by
some of the relatives of the missing when she visited a gym
where families of the missing were staying.