South Korea on Wednesday formally approved plans to salvage a ferry
that sank last year in a disaster that killed more than 300 people.
the ferry Sewol is one of demands made by bereaved families, who hope
that might help reveal details about the cause of the sinking and find
bodies of the nine people still missing. Critics are skeptical that
salvaging the ship will provide new revelations and find the missing.
bodies of 295 people have already been recovered. Most of the victims
were high schools students who were on a trip to a southern resort
300 people died in the disaster. Photo / AP
Public Safety and Security Minister Park In-yong told a
televised briefing that the government endorsed a request by the
Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to hoist the ship from the seafloor off
the country’s southwest coast.
The endorsement was widely
expected as President Park Geun-hye last week promised to salvage the
ship during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the disaster.
Park’s government had faced criticism from relatives of the
victims and their supporters, who say officials were reluctant to start
work to lift the ship due to expected high costs. In the first several
months after the sinking, relatives had opposed raising the ship because
they worried that would damage the bodies of those believed trapped
inside the submerged ship or allow them to be swept away.
the ship is estimated to cost between $91 and $137 million and take as
long as 18 months, according to the oceans ministry.