Excuse the lack of posting: part of it has been my schedule, but mostly, I just needed a break.
– 213 bodies have been recovered. 89 are still missing.
– President Park may have to apologize again for the government’s handling of the Sewol disaster. Her most recent trip to the scene of the accident did not go well at all. That Park is a micromanager hasn’t helped the government response.
– Park also says she will break the so-called “government mafia” in which former officials find jobs with industry lobbies after their retirement (HT to Anonymous Joe). Good luck with that. To get an idea of how this corruption helped pave the way for the tragedy:
When the ship set sail from Incheon, west of Seoul, on April 15, it was top-heavy with cabins recently added to its upper decks, investigators said. The ship was reportedly overloaded with poorly lashed cargo, and crew members did not keep a correct record of passengers. Still, the Korea Shipping Association, a lobbying group for shipping companies that also serves as a safety monitor, ruled the ship fit to sail.
On Tuesday, prosecutors sought to arrest two officials at the shipping association on charges of destroying documents and deleting computer files before their offices were raided last week by investigators. Prosecutors were looking for evidence of corrupt ties between the association and shipping companies.
Park has also ordered a review of the safety budget.
– Leave it up to the Chosun Ilbo to express concern about the abuse President Park is taking from netizens and some progressive groups. One analyst quoted in the piece said the groups were trying to recreate the candlelight protests against US beef imports that rocked the LMB administration. Of course, looking at the Hani front page, it’s not hard to see why the Chosun would be concerned, but I can only Park shows more tact than her predecessor.
– The Semo Group, which owns Chonghaejin Marine, is a tangled web indeed. Ultimately, though, it’s run by the two sons of former chairman Yoo Byung-eun and a couple of other individuals. And to make things worse, Yoo, many Cheonghaejin Marine officials and even the Sewol captain are members of a religious cult (HT to King Baeksu). TK of Ask a Korean did a write-up about the cult in question back in 2010.
– Yoo and his family claim they only have KRW 10 billion in assets, but prosecutors believe they have something KRW 320 billion in assets. (HT to King Baeksu)
– Interestingly enough, Yoo is also a photographer who I actually posted about back in 2012.