Seoul (ANTARA News/Reuters) - South Korean Prime Minister
Chung Hong-won announced his resignation on Sunday over the
government response to the ferry disaster, in which it was first
announced that everyone had been rescued, focusing attention on
poor regulatory controls.

The Sewol ferry sank on a routine trip south from the port
of Incheon to the traditional holiday island of Jeju on April

More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers on
a field trip from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of
Seoul, have died or are missing and presumed dead.

The children on board the Sewol were told to stay put in
their cabins, where they waited for further orders. The
confirmed death toll on Sunday was 187.

South Korea, Asias fourth-largest economy and one of its
leading manufacturing and export powerhouses, has developed into
one of the worlds most technically advanced countries, but
faces criticism that regulatory controls have not kept pace.

As part of the investigation, prosecutors raided two
shipping safety watchdogs and a coastguard office. They have
also raided two vessel service centres, which act as maritime
traffic control.

Chungs resignation has to be approved by President Park
Geun-hye, who has the most power in government.

"Keeping my post too great a burden on the administration,"
a sombre Chung said in a brief announcement. "...On behalf of
the government, I apologise for many problems from the
prevention of the accident to the early handling of the

"There are too many irregularities and malpractices in parts
of society that have been with us too long and I hope those are
corrected so that accidents like this will not happen again."

Chung was booed and someone threw a water bottle at him when
he visited grieving parents the day after the disaster.
President Park was also booed by some relatives when she visited
a gym where families of the missing were staying.

Tempers have frayed over the slow pace of the recovery and
frequent changes in information provided by the government.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education sent text
messages to parents that "All Danwon High School students are
rescued" in the hours after the disaster, media reported.

Editor: Ella Syafputri
Copyright © ANTARA 2014