South Korea's President Park Geun-hye bows after delivering a speech to the nation at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Ahn Jeong-won/Yonhap
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South Korean President Park Geun-Hye took tearful responsibility Monday for the mishandling of last month's Sewol ferry disaster, admitting many lives were lost unnecessarily and vowing to dismantle the national coastguard.Park's popularity ratings have been hammered by the April 16 disaster that claimed around 300 lives, most of them schoolchildren.Prime Minister Chung Hong-Won resigned last month over the disaster, and while there have been few calls for Park to step down, she has been criticised for not displaying enough sympathy or remorse.Towards the end of her 30-minute address, Park's voice choked with emotion and tears ran down her face as she described the heroic actions of some of the victims who died trying to save others.South Korea is to hold key local elections in several weeks and Park's ruling Saenuri party is concerned about the political fallout from the ferry disaster.
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