A former South Korean prime minister visiting UCLA said today he is hopeful for healing in his country as anger mounts over the deaths of passengers aboard a sunken South Korean ferry boat.
Un-Chan Chung, who was prime minister from 2009-2010 in the Republic of Korea, said Koreans are discouraged by the accident, calling it a "nightmare."
"We have to try to go back to the normal as soon as possible," Chung said at following an event at the UCLA International Institute's Center for Korean Studies.
Some 215 passengers, many of them high school students, remain missing, according to media reports. Eighty-seven people have been confirmed dead, with efforts underway to recover the bodies of those trapped inside the vessel.
Most of the more than 400 passengers on board were students at Danwon High School in a town south of Seoul.
Anger has been mounting in South Korea over the chaos in the moments the ferry sunk off South Korea's southwest coast. A radio transcript released by Korean authorities showed passengers could not reach lifeboats because the ship capsized so quickly.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye compared the actions of the captain and some crew to murder, CNN reported.
The captain, Lee Joon-seok, is facing criminal charges and several other members of the crew were also arrested.
--City News Service