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(2nd LD) Two bodies confirmed as S. Koreans in Hungary boat sinking

All News 16:14 June 04, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead and paras 2-4 with updates on body identification; ADDS byline and more info about FM's planned schedule in last 3 paras)
By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- Two bodies retrieved from the Danube River were identified as South Koreans missing in last week's deadly sinking of a sightseeing boat in Hungary, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

That puts the death toll of the May 29 sinking to nine Koreans so far, with 17 others still unaccounted for.

The second body pulled from underwater at the site of the accident was confirmed as a woman in her 50s, the foreign ministry said in a release, citing a report from South Korea's quick response team dispatched to Budapest.

The first victim, a man in his 60s, was discovered Monday (local time) 132 kilometers away from the sinking site. Hours later, Korean and Hungarian divers found the woman when they went into the river for the first time to determine if they could start searching in the water for the missing victims before salvaging the boat.

The latest discovery of the two victims came five days after a tourist boat carrying 33 Koreans and two Hungarian crew members capsized and sank in the Danube River after being hit by a larger cruise ship last Wednesday.

In addition to the 17 missing Koreans, two Hungarians also remain unaccounted for.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha plans to meet again with her Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, in Slovakia later this week on the sidelines of multilateral talks also involving Poland and the Czech Republic, ministry spokesman Kim In-chul told a press briefing.

Kang is expected to further repeat her call for Hungary's cooperation in dealing with the aftermath of the sinking, Kim said.

As the head of the government response team for the boat sinking, Kang paid an urgent visit to Budapest last week to oversee on-site operations and ask for the Hungarian government's help in the process.

Hungarian rescue workers retrieve a body believed to be a South Korean victim of a deadly boat sinking from underwater in the Danube River near the Margit Bridge in Budapest on June 3, 2019. (Yonhap)


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