South Korea’s prime minister resigned on Sunday, blaming corruption and ‘deep-rooted evil’ for the sinking of a passenger ferry that left 300 people dead or missing.
Chung Hong-Won admitted he had not been up to the task of overseeing rescue operations after the ferry Sewol capsized with 476 people – many of them schoolchildren – on board.
“I offer my apology for having been unable to prevent this accident from happening and unable to properly respond to it afterwards,” he said. “I believed I, as the prime minister, certainly had to take responsibility and resign.”
Parents and relatives of the missing and the dead have blasted the response to the sinking, saying delays in launching the rescue had cost lives.
“Looking at the latest accident I came to a painful realisation that there is too much deep-rooted evil and corruption in our society,” Chung said.
South Korean’s President Park Geun-Hye has decided to accept Chung’s resignation but only after the government finishes the entire rescue and salvage operation, her spokesman said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2014.