A ruling party contender for mayor of Seoul offered a public apology Monday over his son’s comments critical of people’s angry reaction to a ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing.
Chung Mong-joon, a seven-term lawmaker seeking to win the nomination of the Saenuri Party for the June 4 local elections, said he is sorry to the public for the comments that he said hurt people’s hearts.
“I offer a deep apology to family members of those who died or are missing as well as the people,” Chung said in a news conference.
Chung’s apology came hours after Chung’s son, a 19 year-old preparing for a state-run college entrance exam, posted a message on Facebook saying that “people’s sentiment is very uncivilized and it does not make any sense for the people to expect the president to meet their every need.”
“Isn’t the country uncivilized as its people are uncivilized?”
Chung’s son asked in the message, referring to the president being shouted at and water bottles being lobbed at the prime minister at a gymnasium where families of those missing are gathered.
Chung’s son later deleted his message.
The ferry sank off South Korea’s southern coast Wednesday, with476 people aboard, mostly high school students on a field trip. As of Monday morning, 64 people have been confirmed dead while 238 others are still unaccounted for amid fears that they are trapped inside the sunken ship.
Chung is competing against former Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik and a female lawmaker of the ruling party to win their party’s nomination for the June 4 local elections.
Chung is a son of late Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung and the biggest shareholder of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world’s biggest shipyard. He also served as a vice chairman of the football’s world governing body FIFA. (Yonhap)