South Korea’s Prime Minister Chung Hung-won has resigned over the government’s handling of a recent ferry disaster which left more than 300 people dead, Yonhap News is reporting.
Chung announced his resignation Sunday during an emergency press conference in Seoul, Al Jazeera reported.
“Keeping my post [is] too great a burden on the administration,” Chung said, according to Reuters.
Similar in role to U.S. vice presidents, the prime minister in South Korea is second-in-command to the president, a position currently held by Park Geun-hye, who was elected in 2013.
The futile search-and-rescue effort for victims of the Apr. 16 disaster had been heavily criticised by South Koreans, especially families of those who died. For Chung, that meant boos and someone throwing a water bottle at him during a visit with the grieving families, according to Reuters.
A photo of a government official sitting on a chair to eat ramen while the families of the ferry victims were eating on the floor circulated on South Korean social media and criticism poured in. A second official from the ministry of security and public administration came under even more criticism for posing for a self-promoting photo in front of the list of the dead at the gymnasium where families were sheltered. That official was suspended and then allowed to resign.
This is a developing story, and will be updated as we learn more.
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