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South Korea Dismantles Coast Guard After Ferry Disaster

Mon, 19 May 2014 16:59:09 +0000

South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- In a tearful televised apology to the nation, South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday announced she is dismantling the coast guard for failing in its duty to carry out a search and rescue operation in the Sewol ferry disaster.

More than 300 passengers -- most of them high school students -- died when the overloaded ship failed to right itself after a sharp turn. The captain and 14 members of the crew, who were among the first to be rescued, have been charged with murder.

The coast guard has been criticized for being too slow to respond to distress signals after the Sewol called for help on the morning of April 16. Park said many more could have been rescued if action had been swift.

The president said she is creating a new department for national security to take over in future incidents.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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