South Korea’s President Will Disband Coast Guard After Ferry Disaster

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Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

In a nationally televised speech on Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye vowed to dismantle the coast guard, saying it "failed in its duty to carry out the rescue operation," following the ferry disaster that left 286 people dead, with 18 still missing. The coast guard's duties will be performed either by the national police, or a new safety agency focused on disaster response. Park, who has faced calls for her resignation since the tragedy, also promised to reform the country's practice of government officials transitioning into jobs at businesses they once oversaw, which fosters corruption. "As the President who should be responsible for people's life and security, I am sincerely apologizing to the people for having to suffer pain," Park said, bowing deeply. "The final responsibility for not being able to respond properly lies on me."