Go to contents

`Gov`t to positively consider salvage of ferry Sewol,` says Pres. Park

`Gov`t to positively consider salvage of ferry Sewol,` says Pres. Park

Posted April. 07, 2015 06:53,   


President Park Geun-hye said on Monday, “If it is concluded that lifting of the (Sewol ferry’s) hull is possible, we will positively consider lifting the ship by gathering suggestions and opinions from experts and families of those who remain missing.” Amid rising controversy over lifting of the Sewol ahead of the first anniversary of the ferry disaster (April 16), President Park suggested a positive view on lifting of the sunken ferry.

At a meeting with her senior secretaries at the presidential office on the day, Park made the remarks, saying, “The first anniversary of the Sewol accident will come in 10 days. I would like to express my deepest condolences to families of those who remain missing and bereaved families of victims.”

Although President Park made the offer under the premise “If it is technically possible,” insiders in the presidential office interpret her remarks as indicating that her administration will move to lift up the ferry. To salvage the ferry needs time and money. Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Yoo Ki-joon predicted that the cost necessary for lifting the ferry would amount to 90 billion won (83 million U.S. dollars) to 200 billion won (184 million dollars), and take 12 to 28 months.

The president is believed to have suggested salvaging of the ferry’s hull, apparently because she judged that the government should place more emphasis on public opinion as well as the families of the victims. Analysts say that she is considering the possibility that if the public’s opinions come to be divided again on the first anniversary of the disaster, it could negatively affect the revival of the economy.

When the government announced a plan on compensation and indemnification for victims on Wednesday, the organization of the victims in the Sewol disaster, protested, by saying, “Lifting the ferry’s hull and finding the truth is first.” The bodies of nine of the victims in the Sewol disaster have yet to be found. According to a recent survey by Korea Research, more than 77.2 percent of ordinary people supported lifting of the ferry.