BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday asked the Republic of Korea (ROK) to check the information of missing Chinese citizens in yesterday's ship disaster and find them as soon as possible.
The Chinese embassy in the ROK learned that two Chinese citizens were on board a South Korean passenger ship, which capsized in waters off South Korea's southwest coast Wednesday, leaving at least nine people dead and 287 others still unaccounted for.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing that China was saddened by the accident, adding that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday expressed his sympathy to his ROK counterpart Yun Byung-se and promised to provide help for search and rescue work whenever needed.
According to the latest information from the ROK coast guard department, a Chinese vehicle was on board and the department speculated that two Chinese nationals were also on the ship and are believed to be missing, Hua said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry and its relevant overseas departments have launched an emergency mechanism, Hua said. The Chinese Consulate General in Kwangju arrived at the rescue scene and asked the ROK side to make all-out efforts to rescue the victims, Hua added.