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South Korean Prime Minister Resigns Amid Ferry Disaster

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won announced his immediate resignation at a news conference Sunday morning without much prior warning.

South Korean Prime Minister Resigns Amid Ferry Disaster
Flickr / World Travel & Tourism Council
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South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won has resigned following the tragic ferry accident that killed more than 100 people. 

"On behalf of the government, I apologize for many problems — from the prevention of the accident to the early handling of the disaster." (Via Al Jazeera

The prime minister announced his resignation early Sunday in a move some are calling surprising, but not completely unexpected. 

"The fact that a politician has resigned may not come as a surprise to too many. This is what usually happens in Korea. They will take responsibility for mistakes made." (Via CNN

The tragic accident happened more than a week ago. 187 people have been confirmed dead, many of which were students. More than 100 are still reported as missing as search and rescue efforts continue. (Via Sky News

South Korea's government has been highly criticized for the prevention of the disaster and the search efforts afterwards. The BBC reports the Prime Minister met with families of victims last week and interactions were tense.

"This was their response when the Prime Minister visited them last week. ... The cries of those families, he said today, still keep me awake at night." (Via BBC

According to CNN, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has reportedly accepted Hong-won's resignation, but said it would not take effect until after the disaster's cleanup and investigation are complete.