|MAIN АКИpress CA-News||About us On-line subscription|
AKIPRESS.COM - South Korean President Park Geun-hye is replacing seven Cabinet members in response to sagging public trust after the April sinking of the ferry Sewol, which left 304 people dead or missing.
The major cabinet shake-up is Park's first since taking office in February last year as the country's first female president, the Associated Press said.
Officials at the presidential Blue House said the changes include the minister of finance, security, education, labor, culture, gender equality and science.
President Park had already nominated a new prime minister and replaced her defense minister and intelligence chief.
Earlier this week, thousands of South Korean police raided a religious compound in their search for a businessman wanted in connection with the April ferry sinking.
Yoo Byung-un is the head of a family that runs the Chonghaejin Marine Company, which owned and operated the Sewol ferry. The 72-year-old Yoo, who has evaded a nationwide manhunt for almost a month, is wanted on embezzlement, negligence, and tax evasion charges.
Police did not find Yoo in Wednesday's raid, but instead arrested a few church members suspected of helping him escape.
President Park told her Cabinet Tuesday that Yoo must be brought to justice.
Investigators are also determining whether lax safety standards and poor maintenance led to the disaster.
Divers continue searching for victims in the submerged, 6,800-ton ferry. So far, 292 bodies have been recovered and 12 are listed as missing. Most of the victims of the April 16 ferry sinking were high school students on their way to a field trip on the resort island of Jeju.