Monday, April 21, 2014, 12:00
S Korean president says captain's deserting ferry amounts to "murder"
By Xinhua

S Korean president says captain's deserting ferry amounts to

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye (L) speaks to relatives of missing passengers on board a capsized ferry as she visits a gym in Jindo on April 17, 2014. (Photo / AFP)

SEOUL - South Korean President Park Geun-hye strongly criticized the captain and some of his crew members of the ferry Sewol on Monday for leaving hundreds of passengers behind and deserting the sinking ship, saying what they did amounted to an act of "murder," local media reported.

Park also vowed to uncover all irregularities involved in the ferry's operations and force those responsible to take "criminal and civil" responsibilities regardless of their ranks.

At a meeting with senior aides, the president acknowledged there were serious problems with the government's initial response to the disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

"Above all, the conduct of the captain and some crew members is unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense, and it was like an act of murder that cannot and should not be tolerated," Park told senior secretaries, quoted by the Yonhap news agency.