South Korean president dismantles coast guard - Soundings Online

South Korean president dismantles coast guard

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The president of South Korea made an emotional apology Monday over the ferry disaster that killed close to 300 people last month and said she would dismantle the country's coast guard.

"As the President who should be responsible for people's life and security, I am sincerely apologizing to the people for having to suffer pain," said President Park Geun-hye in a televised speech. "The final responsibility for not being able to respond properly lies on me."

The Sewol ferry sank en route to the resort island of Jeju on April 16, leaving more than 304 people dead or missing. Most of the passengers were high school students on a field trip.

The Sewol disaster caused widespread outrage in South Korea over lax safety standards and the failure to rescue more people as the ship foundered.

Questions have been raised over the government's oversight of the ferry industry and its handling of the crisis.

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