S. Korea PM Quits Over Ferry Debacle

But it's a pretty symbolic move to assuage public anger
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2014 6:33 AM CDT
S. Korea PM Quits Over Ferry Debacle
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won gets into a car to leave the Central Government Complex in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, April 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Yonhap)

South Korea's No. 2 leader, prime minister Chung Hong-won, today fell on the government's sword, offering up his resignation as public anger simmers over Seoul's handling of the ferry disaster that's left more than 300 dead or still missing, reports the New York Times. "As I saw grieving families suffering with the pain of losing their loved ones and the sadness and resentment of the public, I thought I should take all responsibility as prime minister," Chung said, citing "so many varieties of irregularities" and "practices that have gone wrong."

It's a largely symbolic move, adds the AP, as Seoul's power is centered with President Park Geun-hye; a spokesman has indicated that she'll accept Chung's resignation. It's not clear when he'll step down. Meanwhile, searchers yesterday reached two sleeping areas, which they think might hold a number of bodies. "I just want to find my son's corpse," says the father of one victim. "I want to see him one last time and hold a funeral for him." Prosecutors yesterday arrested four more crew in the accident; that means all surviving crewmembers responsible for the boat's navigation have been charged. (More Chung Hong-won stories.)

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