South Korea parties back, families oppose, ferry disaster probe

SEOUL: South Korean ruling and opposition party leaders agreed on Tuesday on legislation to investigate April’s Sewol ferry disaster more deeply, but a spokesman for families of the victims said they would oppose the bill.
The Sewol, overloaded and traveling too fast on a turn, capsized and sank on a routine journey on April 16, killing more than 300 people, most of them school children, prompting a backlash against the government of President Park Geun-hye over its handling of the disaster.
Family members of the victims and survivors have been calling for a more transparent investigation into the sinking of the ferry and subsequent rescue operation, which was widely criticized.
Tuesday’s agreement had appeared to end a deadlock that had threatened to derail other legislation, but the opposition of family members could jeopardize the deal that still needs approval from legislative committees and the full parliament.
“We oppose it. Both parties, the ruling party and the opposition party, have not communicated with us or tried to explain what they are doing to help us understand,” Yoo Gyoung-geun, who lost a daughter in the disaster and is a spokesman for the victims’ families, told Reuters.

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