Park Consoles Families of Ferry Victims

/Newsis /Newsis

President Park Geun-hye has visited with families of passengers still missing after the sinking of a ferry last month, pledging to severely punish those responsible for the disaster.

Park on Sunday told the families waiting at the port of Jindo, near when the ship sank, that her "heart breaks" to think about how they must feel.

The confirmed death toll on Sunday reached 244, with 58 still missing, while 174 survived.

The ferry Sewol was carrying 476 people, of which 325 were students from the same high school on a field trip to the southwest island of Jeju, when it capsized and sank on April 16.

The disaster shocked and angered the nation, with widespread criticism directed at the ship's crew for abandoning the overloaded vessel before an evacuation was fully under way.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

VOA News / May 05, 2014 08:24 KST