April 17, 2015 09:53
President Park Geun-hye on Thursday visited Jindo, South Jeolla Province to mark one year since the ferry disaster there but had to return without placing a wreath at a memorial altar and did not meet a single family member of the victims.
The scene symbolized the acute divide in society one year after the tragedy between the victims' families and a political class who are desperate to move on.
When Park arrived there around midday, the doors of the memorial facility were tightly closed. The families of the victims canceled a scheduled memorial service and returned to their homes in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province calling for the search for missing bodies to continue and the sunken ship to be raised.
Dressed in black, Park spoke to reporters at the port and said, "I have a heavy heart and it hurts me to think how painful it is" for the family members. She also vowed to raise the ferry as soon as possible and to take all measures to recover the bodies of the nine victims who remain officially missing.
But Park left after just 27 minutes because the victims' family members she hoped to meet had already left.
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