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South Korea president Park apologises to ferry disaster relatives

Published on May 17, 2014 1:37 AM
South Korean president Park Geun Hye (right) shakes hands with a family member of victims onboard sunken passenger ship Sewol after their face-to-face talk at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, in this May 16, 2014 photo provided by Yonhap. Amid nationwide anger over the incident, Ms Park met relatives of the victims on Friday, repeatedly apologising for the government's handling of the incident. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - President Park Geun-Hye made a direct apology Friday to relatives of the victims of South Korea's ferry disaster and vowed to reform the country's safety standards from scratch.

"I apologise again for the government's insufficient response," Park said at a meeting with 17 relatives who were invited to her presidential office.

It was the first time she has made an expression of regret directly to the victims' families, who had criticised a previous apology she issued during a cabinet meeting as impersonal.

"I will push for fundamental reform of the safety system of our society to prevent the recurrence of a similar disaster," Park told them.

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