South Korean parliament postpones visit to Iran after Hong-won’s resignation

TEHRAN (FNA)- South Korean Parliament’s Research Center postponed its visit to Iran due to the resignation of Prime Minister Chung Hong-won on Sunday, after the country’s No. 2 official said he was prepared to step down because of the state’s fumbled response to the April 16 ferry sinking.

South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Sung Wung Yeub had announced in March that a parliamentary delegation is due to visit Tehran soon.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Legal and Judicial Commission Hamidreza Tabatabayee.

The South Korean parliamentary delegation was to confer with Iranian officials, mainly parliament representatives, on ways to expand parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.

The ambassador said that the South Korean government is willing to develop economic cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The South Korean parliamentary delegation was slated to visit Iran on Saturday but the trip was postponed to another time due to the resignation of Hong-won.

Hong-won said he is prepared to resign in order to take responsibility for the government’s handling of the Sewol ferry disaster, in which over 300 people have been killed or are missing.

President Park Geun-hye accepted his resignation but asked Chung to remain in office until the government completes its rescue operations.

Fifteen crew members have been arrested and accused of not doing enough to help passengers escape the vessel, which sank on April 16. The captain’s order to evacuate the vessel was allegedly given when it was listing too severely for most passengers to leave. Subsequent investigations have also found that the Sewol may have been overloaded, overcrowded and under the command of an inexperienced junior officer at the time of the tragedy.

By Fars News Agency


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