JINDO, South Korea, May 4 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Sunday visited the scene where the 6,825-ton passenger ship Sewol capsized and sank on April 16, the second time since she went there on April 17.
Park headed first for the Paengmok port where coast guard ships bring ashore bodies recovered from the sunken ship and let relatives of the missing people identify the bodies. The identification occurs inside white-domed tents, near which relatives are gathering.
Park met with some 50 relatives of the missing passengers inside the tents for about 30 minutes, saying that she felt an unlimited responsibility for the happening of the accident and the response to it.
The government has been under fire for its lax and slow response to the incident, triggering widespread public anger toward the Park administration. Park's approval rating plunged by about 11 percentage points two weeks after the accident, a Gallup poll showed.
Park told the relatives, "how hard you are as 20 days passed by. You must feel your skin burns," saying that she knew about the sorrow coming from the loss of families as she experienced the same before.
Park Chung-hee, Park's father and former military strongman, was assassinated in 1979 by his close aide, and her mother Yook Yeong-soo was shot dead in 1974 at a public event.
Park vowed to make utmost efforts for rescue operations to the last minute, saying that those responsible will be tracked down and penalized. Those responsible included public servants and government officials, she added.
As of Sunday afternoon, 244 people have been confirmed dead, leaving 58 others still missing. There has been no survivor reported since 174 people were saved from the ship and sea the day the ferry sank.
The 476 passengers aboard the ill-fated vessel included 325 high school students and 24 teachers on their way for a class trip.
Video >> Video clips show students' last moments before ferry sank
Photo >> Rescued students mourn classmates lost in ferry tragedy
Death toll rises to 236 in S.Korean ferry sinking disaster
JINDO, South Korea, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Death toll in a South Korean ferry sinking disaster continued to rise to 236 on Saturday as rescue operations lasted despite rapid currents and floating objects.
As of Saturday evening, 236 people have been confirmed dead as eight more bodies were recovered from the sunken vessel. The number of missing passengers fell to 66, with those rescued remaining unchanged at 174. Full story
S.Korean PM steps down for gov't response to ferry tragedy
SEOUL, April 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won offers resignation on Sunday over criticism of the government's response to the April 16 Sewol ferry disaster that has left nearly 300 people dead or missing.
"The right thing for me to do is to take responsibility and resign," Chung told a nationally-televised press conference, 11 days after one of the country's worst maritime disasters.