President Moon Jae-in says the Korea Coast Guard needs to carry out painstaking reforms to ensure the safety of the people.
Moon made the call Wednesday at a ceremony marking the 64th Korea Coast Guard Day in Incheon.
The Coast Guard was disbanded after the sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014 but reinstated by the Moon Jae-in administration.
Moon said the Coast Guard must be reborn as an organization that puts foremost priority on protecting the lives and safety of people. He urged the agency to regain public trust and strengthen its capacity to respond to natural disasters by eradicating complacency, rigid pursuit of self-interest and negative bureaucratic culture.
The president also ordered the Coast Guard to thoroughly study what went wrong in the Sewol rescue process, get to the bottom of fundamental problems and devise substantial countermeasures.