The father of a student killed in April's ferry disaster ended a nearly 50-day hunger strike on Thursday, apparently due to worsening health and in response to a plea from his family, his spokesman said.
Kim Young-oh, whose high school daughter was killed in the sunken ferry Sewol, had fasted for 46 days to demand an independent probe into one of the country's deadliest maritime accidents that left nearly 300 people dead or missing.
"Kim Young-oh, the father of Yoo-min, ended fasting as of today," Yoo Kyung-geun, the spokesman for the victims' families, said.
Kim appears to have made the decision as his health deteriorated, and his second daughter and other victims' families strongly persuaded him to stop, Yoo said.
On Friday, the father was taken to a hospital in northeastern Seoul from the site of his protest in Gwanghwamun Square in the city center due to health issues.
He has since received treatment in hospital.
Yoo said the victims' families will continue their sit-in or begin a relay hunger strike to demand the passage of a special bill to ensure an independent probe into the tragedy.
The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol sank off the country's southwest coast on April 16, leaving 294 people dead, mostly high school students on a school excursion. As of Thursday, 10 people remained unaccounted for.
Lawmakers in the ruling and opposition parties have been wrangling over who should be able to name a special counsel to conduct the investigation, but have so far failed to meet the demands of the victims' families. (Yonhap)