LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

South Korean President Promises To Raise Sewol Ferry, One Year After Tragedy

People pay tribute at a group memorial altar for victims of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol at a remembrance hall in Ansan on Thursday.

Speaking on the first anniversary of a catastrophe that killed 304 people, President Park Geun-hye pledged Thursday to salvage the Sewol ferry, which capsized and sank during a trip to a resort island. Nine bodies are believed to remain inside the ship.

"Most of the victims were actually students from a single high school," NPR's Elise Hu reports, "so this obviously sent the country into deep grief — but also outrage, since the rescue effort was widely viewed as bungled."

The ship's captain and several crew members notoriously abandoned the ship as it was sinking. The ship tilted at an extreme angle, and it's been reported that conflicting orders were given to passengers. A transcript of radio distress calls showed confusion and panic.

More than half of the ship's crew members survived; several were arrested. The captain was later sentenced to more than 30 years in jail. The ferry's owners have also faced intense scrutiny, and one month after the disaster, Park disbanded the Coast Guard.

The president's promise today "is the first time that Park explicitly mentioned the salvage," the Yonhap news agency says.

The pledge comes as relatives of the victims demand accountability and closure. They're also unhappy with the government's plan to place a special inquiry into the tragedy under the control of the president's office.

Thursday, families at one memorial altar turned their backs on the country's prime minister. And The Korea Herald reports, "families of the missing, who have camped in makeshift homes at Jindo Harbor since the accident, vacated the spot upon hearing of the president's planned visit, in an apparent show of protest."

Other politicians' attempts to visit memorial sites were met with boos — and in one case, a brawl, the newspaper reports.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org