SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday she will push to disband the coast guard in the wake of last month's ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing, calling its rescue operations after the disaster a failure.
The coast guard has been under growing public criticism over its alleged poor search and rescue work after the ferry Sewol sank on April 16. Most of the victims were students from a single high school near Seoul who were traveling to the southern tourist island of Jeju.
"The coast guard's rescue operations were virtually a failure," Park said in a nationally televised speech.
Park said she will push for legislation that would transfer the coast guard's responsibilities to the National Police Agency and a new government body she plans to establish.