SEOUL, May 19 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the country's coast guard will be disbanded on its failure to appropriately respond to the ferry sinking disaster.
Park said in her first nationally televised statement to the nation that the coast guard's rescue operations actually failed in the ferry sinking accident, noting that after much contemplation, she reached a conclusion that the coast guard will be disbanded.
The Ministry of Security and Public Administration will focus solely on the task of public administrations, and the task of maritime guard and rescue will be transferred to the National Safety Office that will be launched and serve as a control tower of rescue operations.
The task of marine transport control center from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries will be transferred to the National Safety Office, she said.
The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol carrying some 476 passengers, most of them high school students, capsized and sank off the southwestern island of Jindo on April 16, with 286 passengers confirmed dead.