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(LEAD) Moon affirms resolve to search for missing Koreans in Hungary boat sinking

Politics 15:20 June 03, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with remarks in meeting with Cheong Wa Dae officials; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in stressed the government's resolve Monday not to abandon efforts to search for more than a dozen South Koreans still missing after their sightseeing riverboat sank in Budapest last week.

"The government will make its utmost effort till the end, mobilizing all diplomatic channels and available material and human resources," Moon said during a weekly meeting with senior Cheong Wa Dae officials.

The vessel, carrying 33 South Koreans, mostly tourists, capsized in the flooding Danube river shortly after being hit by a larger cruise ship on Wednesday night (local time).

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with his top aides at Cheong Wa Dae on June 3, 2019. (Yonhap)

It left seven South Koreans dead and 19 others missing. Two Hungarian crew members are also unaccounted for.

Moon expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.

He said he is very worried that search operations are making little progress due to bad conditions.

He pledged every effort to find out the exact cause of the accident in cooperation with local authorities and thanked them for their active cooperation.

He also thanked neighboring countries -- Austria, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria -- for offering support.

President Moon Jae-in (2nd from L) receives a briefing from Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R) on the results of her trip to Hungary on June 3, 2019. (Yonhap)

Earlier in the day, the president received a briefing from Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on the results of her visit to the Hungarian capital for relevant consultations.

Moon instructed Kang to maintain a system of close cooperation between South Korea and Hungary to handle the accident and unify press briefings to minimize possible public confusion.


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