South Korea’s Prime Minister Chung Hong-won resigned on Sunday over the government’s handling of a ferry sinking that has left more than 300 people dead or missing.
Presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said President Park Geun-hye would accept the resignation, but did not say when Mr. Chung would leave office.
Officials have taken into custody all 15 people involved in navigating the ferry Sewol, which sank on April 16. A prosecutor revealed that investigators were also looking into communications made as the ship sank between a crew member and the company that owns the ferry.
Mr. Chung was heckled by victims’ relatives and his car was blocked when he visited a shelter on an island near the site of the sinking a week ago.
“As I saw grieving families suffering with the pain of losing their loved ones and the sadness and resentment of the public, I thought I should take all responsibility as Prime Minister,” Mr. Chung said. “There have been so many varieties of irregularities that have continued in every corner of our society and practices that have gone wrong. I hope these deep-rooted evils get corrected this time and this kind of accident never happens again.”
Meanwhile, senior prosecutor Yang Jung-jin said that two helmsmen and two members of the steering crew who were detained on Saturday had been formally arrested. Eleven other crew members, including the captain, had been arrested earlier.