Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent his condolences to the victims of a ferry sinking in South Korea that left at least eight dead and about 288 of the 475 people aboard still missing, an official at the South Korean Embassy in Beijing said Thursday.
In a statement sent to South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Wednesday night, Wang expressed "deep condolences to the victims of the sunken ferry," the official said on the condition of anonymity.
Wang also offered that China would help the search-and-rescue operation if South Korea requests it, the official said.
The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol, which means time and tide in Korean, sank off South Korea's southern waters, within two hours of sending a distress signal at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
While 179 others have been rescued, dozens of them with injuries, the fate of the remaining 288 remains unknown amid growing fears they are trapped inside the sunken ship. (Yonhap)