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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post South Korea PM Resigns over Ferry Disaster
Created by John Eipper on 05/02/14 4:02 PM

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South Korea PM Resigns over Ferry Disaster (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 05/02/14 4:02 pm)

On April 16, 2014, the South Korean ferry Sewol, carrying mostly high school students, sank with more than 300 passengers reported missing and presumed dead.

Maritime disasters, floods, typhoons and equally disastrous rescue operations are annual events in the Philippines.

But in South Korea, the fourth biggest economy in Asia, one ferry boat disaster attributed to the failure to vigorously enforce regulations and poor government response, is enough for the Prime Minister to lose his job.

See: South Korean PM resigns over government response to ferry disaster
by Narae KIM

Seoul, Sunday Apr 27, 2014

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/27/uk-korea-ship-idUKBREA3P04720140427

JE comments:  Korea's Prime Minister, unlike the President, has a largely ceremonial role.  However, that the PM would resign to "take full responsibility" for this tragedy stands in contrast to the practice in the US (and as Bienvenido Macario points out, the Philippines), where a mistake or mere incompetence is never enough to lead to resignation.  There needs to be a major scandal or an actual crime.


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  • on Resignations of PMs and CEOs (Miles Seeley, USA 05/03/14 3:42 PM)
    In response to Bienvenido Macario (2 May), when I lived in Korea and Japan, resignations of CEOs or the equivalent were common when a company really screwed up. I thought resignations by senior politicians were fairly common, too, but maybe my memory is faulty.

    JE comments: Might such resignations be viewed as a modern or "secular" version of seppuku--or am I reading too much into this?



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