The tragedy encountered recently by Korea has prompted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye to offer an apology Tuesday for her government’s inability to stop a ferry accident leaving some 300 people dead or missing.
After two days when her prime minister resigned because of the tragedy, Park expressed deep regret at the systemic and regulatory failings that added to the overturn of the 6,825-tonne Sewol on April 16.
"I feel so regretful for having been unable to correct such long-running evils and letting an accident like this take place," she said in a statement to her cabinet that was broadcast on national television.
Park’s government has been strongly slammed due to its deemed corruption and careless safety standards that may have led to the mishap, with believes that the ferry was overloaded and that the list of passenger was inaccurate and incomplete.
The loveones of the more than 100 passengers still missing have also criticized the response to the sinking, noting the delays in set of the rescue had cost lives.
"I don’t know how to apologise for the failure to prevent this accident, and for the insufficient first response," Park said.
"I am sorry to the people and heavy-hearted that many precious lives were lost," she added.
The president went to Ansan, just south of Seoul. She paid her respects to a memorial for the hundreds of schoolchildren who died in the disaster.
Reportedly, 476 people boarded the Sewol, 325 were students from the same high school in Ansan. Only 75 were rescued.