Saturday, April 26, 2014

SOUTH Korean Prime Minister has resigned

South Korean PM Chung Hong-won offers resignation over sinking of Sewol ferry
All 15 crew members involved in the navigation of the capsized South Korean ferry have been detained.

SOUTH Korean Prime Minister has resigned over the deadly sinking of the Sewol ferry that claimed 187 lives.

Chung Hong-won offered his resignation saying he held himself responsible for the government’s poor response to the tragedy, Yonhap reports.

“The right thing for me to do is to take responsibility and resign,” Chung said.
“I wanted to resign earlier but handling the situation was the first priority and I thought that it was a responsible act to help before leaving. But I’ve decided to resign now not to be any burden on the administration.
“I offer my apology for having been unable to prevent this accident from happening and unable to properly respond to it afterwards.
“I believed I, as the prime minister, certainly had to take responsibility and resign.”

Prime Minister Chung Hong-won’s offer comes as the government faces increasing anger from relatives of victims that it didn’t do enough to rescue or protect their loved ones.

South Korean executive power is concentrated in the president, Park Geun-hye, so the offer appears to be largely symbolic. There was no immediate word from Park about whether she would accept the resignation.

Chung was heckled by relatives and his car was blocked when he visited a shelter on an island near the site of the sinking a week ago.
Angry outburst ... South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won is shielded by his bodyguar
Angry outburst ... South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won is shielded by his bodyguards from a bottle of water thrown by an angry relative of passengers on the Sewol ferry. Picture: Yonhap Source: AP

More arrests in ferry tragedy

Meanwhile all surviving crew members of a sunken ferry are in custody, as bad weather prevents the recovery of any of the more-than 100 bodies still missing.

The Sewol’s captain, Lee Joon-Seok, and 10 crew members had already been arrested on charges ranging from criminal negligence to abandoning passengers. The remaining four were arrested late on Saturday after warrants were issued, prosecutors said.

The confirmed death toll from the tragedy stands at 187, with 115 unaccounted for — many bodies are believed trapped in the ferry that capsized on April 16 on a routine voyage to southern Jindo island with 476 people on board.

The ship’s captain has been criticised for delaying the evacuation until the ferry was listing so badly escape was almost impossible.

Prosecutors have raided a host of businesses affiliated with the ferry operator, the Chonghaejin Marine Company, as part of a probe into corrupt management.
All sunken ferry crew in custody
In custody ... crew members of sunken ferry Sewol prepare to leave a court which issued their arrest warrant in Mokpo, South Korea. Source: AP

The widening investigation has also seen travel bans put on eight current and former executives of the Korea Register of Shipping — the body responsible for issuing marine safety certificates.

A looming storm and high tides put a temporary halt to operations to recover the remains of those still missing over a week after the disaster.

Despite Saturday’s difficult conditions, divers made several attempts to get into the ship, search officials said, but to no avail.

Making up the bulk of the passengers on the 6825 tonne Sewol when it sank were 325 high school students — around 250 of whom are either confirmed or presumed dead.

Although all hope of finding survivors has been extinguished, there is still anger and deep frustration among relatives of the missing over the pace of the recovery operation.
Recovery operation ... a diver wears a helmet to look for people still missing from the s
Recovery operation ... a diver wears a helmet to look for people still missing from the sunken ferry in the water off South Korea’s southern coast, near Jindo. Source: AP

Frogmen have battled strong currents, poor visibility and blockages caused by floating furniture as they have tried to get inside the upturned vessel, which rests on a silty seabed.

The challenging conditions have meant divers are unable to spend more than a few minutes in the ship each time they go down.

Even so, they are coming across horrifying scenes in the murky water, including one dormitory room packed with the bodies of 48 students wearing life jackets.

Around a quarter of the dead recovered so far have been found in waters outside the sunken vessel, and there are fears some of the missing may have drifted free from the wreck.

That could be exacerbated if the sea is churned by the gathering storm, scattering bodies.
Prayers ... South Korean Buddhists put candles to form the words meaning "Together", for
Prayers ... South Korean Buddhists put candles to form the words meaning "Together", for cherishing the memory of deceased persons and safe return of passengers aboard the sunken ferry, on a street in Seoul. Source: AP

“As efforts to find the missing people are becoming protracted, there are growing concerns among their families that bodies might be lost for good,” a coastguard official said.

Authorities — wary of the palpable anger among relatives — have mobilised trawlers and installed 13-kilometre-long nets anchored to the seabed across the Maenggol sea channel to prevent the dead being swept into the open ocean.

Dozens of other vessels and helicopters have been scouring the site and beyond, with the search operation expanded up to 60 kilometres from the scene of the disaster.

Police and local government officials will also be mobilised to search coastal areas and nearby islands, a coastguard official said.
Tưởng thú của cái đảng súc sinh việt gian cộng sản buôn dân bán nước Việt Nam, có làm được như
Thủ tướng Nam Hàn Chung Hong-won?

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