The captain and entire crew of the ferry have since been arrested. Prime Minister Chung Hong-won has resigned amid criticism of the government's delayed response to the disaster. Three people from the Korea Shipping Association's Incheon office have been arrested and accused of destroying evidence.
As details of the South Korean government's botched handling of the sinking were revealed, anger has grown.
Online, users have taken aim at authorities and mainstream conservative media for merely parroting the government's excuses:
— 미권스 (@afc_4565) April 21, 2014
The government's abysmal risk management skills, their incompetence and lies, and the media that keeps lying non-stop… All of this has enraged the victims’ families. In the wake of the Sewol ferry disaster, this country's rock bottom has been revealed.
뉴스에서 대통령이 사라졌다. 정부당국의 말실수, 집계누락 등 수많은 실책의 최종 책임자가 제일 먼저 언론에서 사라져버림. 마치 좌초한 세월호에서 선장이 제일 먼저 도망친 것처럼.
— 루나 (@fakemommy) April 20, 2014
The president has vanished from the news. The concerned government authorities’ gaffes and numerous mistakes and other failures have disappeared from media reports. Just like how in the sinking ferry Sewol, the ship's captain escaped first.
언론은 세월호 침몰 현장에 장비가 들어간 장면과 전문가들이 구조에 참여한 소식을 보여준다 언론만 보면 구조작업은 활발하다 하지만 현장에서 초기에 구조된 사람 외에 추가로 구조된 사람들은 없다 결과물은 없고 언론은 떠들고..언론보도와 현장은 전혀 다르다
— 임중수 (@js8088hb) April 19, 2014
The media shows footage of devices deployed at the Sewol shipwreck scene and clips of experts during the rescue operation. It seems like the operation is actively under way – if we only look at the media. However, there are no additional survivors besides those initially rescued at the accident scene. There is no progress, but the media keep blabbing. The real scene is totally different than what the media shows.
Outrage has further been stoked by politicians taking advantage of the calamity.
A governing Saeunri party lawmaker is under fire for wrongfully accusing a victim's parent [ko] of being an outsider “who wants to stir up turmoil and grudges against the government”. The lawmaker later explained that she was misled by fake images shared online.
And police are now investigating a writer [ko] who wrote on Facebook that the “Sewol ferry disaster is a scene directed by Pro-North Korean sympathizers who want to spread confusion and chaos in South Korean society.”
이제 국민을 좌빨에서 종북세력으로 몰아 간첩만들기는 일상화 됐다.수틀리면 개나 소나 종북,간첩을 외치는 이 어이없는 상황.세월호 인명구조에 한가닥 희망을 걸고 있는 분들은 이미 유리심장이다.작은상처에도 쉽게 상처받고 깨질 위험한 상황이니 말조심들해라
— 수연낙명(隨緣樂命) 안녕하지 못합니다 (@kriskimera) April 22, 2014
Now the tactic of branding people “red commies” and “Pro-North [Korean sympathizers]” has become a daily thing. How outrageous is this situation? Everyone accuses the other of being “Pro-North” or “North Korean spies” whenever there is a disagreement. Those people who haven't given up the slightest bit of hope in the Sewol rescue operation, those people are very vulnerable and can easily be hurt by such comments. Watch what you say.
세월호로 온 나라가 슬픔에 잠기고, 정부의 무능을 비판하는 소리가 높아지자~여기에도 종북놀이를 해 대는 집권당과 그 지지자들을 보면, 나라가 이렇게 밖에 될수 없슴을 절감케 한다. 모든 잘못을 종북으로 덮는 지배층을 바꾸지 않으면 우린 답이 없다.
— 쟝고 (@shsh7600) April 22, 2014
As the whole country is being engulfed in despair and voices that are critical of the government grow stronger, the governing party and their supporters have started wielding the “Pro-North” rhetoric. This environment made me think about what has lead the country into this kind of disaster. If we cant change the leadership which covers up every flaw with the “Pro-North” tactic, we have no answer.