Anchor: Various ceremonies were held across South Korea to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Sewol sinking which claimed the lives of 304 people.
Choi You Sun reports.
[Nat sound: Sewol ferry commemorative ceremony (Apr. 16)]
A siren was heard for one minute throughout the city of Ansan in Gyeonggi Province to mark the start of a ceremony to commemorate the 304 lives that were lost during the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry five years ago.
The ceremony, attended by some five-thousand people, was held by the victim's families and the April 16th Foundation, with support from the government.
Ansan is the city where Danwon High School is located.
A large group of students and teachers from the school were traveling on the ill-fated ferry as part of a school trip to Jeju Island.
Prior to Tuesday's ceremony, a march through the school was held to remember the 261 students and teachers who perished in the sinking.
In the city of Incheon, another ceremony was held to remember the lives of the other 43 victims, while various commemorative events took place across the country, including in Paengmok Port on Jindo, the closest land site to where the ferry sank.
The ferry went down in the waters off the southwestern coast on April 16th, 2014 and is one of the country's worst ever maritime disasters.
Negligence by the Coast Guard and the ship's captain and crew, as well as the then-Park Geun-hye administration's lax response to the incident, were blamed for the fatalities.
On his social media accounts, President Moon Jae-in vowed to find the truth behind what caused the 2014 tragedy and thoroughly punish those who were accountable.
Highlighting that he always remembers the incident, Moon said he is determined to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
The president then pledged to create a memorial park, named the April 16th Life and Safety Park, in the hopes that turning the park into a space that values life and safety would offer some comfort to the bereaved families.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.