Anchor: Four years ago today, more than 300 passengers that were travelling on the Sewol ferry lost their lives after the boat capsized and sank. Various ceremonies were held on Monday to remember the victims, most of whom were teenagers on a school trip.
Oh Sooyoung has the details.
[Sound bite: Commemorative song (Korean)]
"We shall not forget, we shall not forget."
A moment of silence passed as thousands of people gathered at a government-organized ceremony in Ansan City, in solemn remembrance of the maritime tragedy that took the lives of 304 passengers in 2014, most of them high school students.
The memorial site at Hwarang Amusement Park is a stone's throw away from Danwon High School, where most of the young victims were students.
Bereaved family members, local students and Ansan citizens were joined by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, Education Minister Kim Sang-kon and the leaders of ruling and opposition parties.
[Sound bite: Master of ceremony reading President Moon's message (Korean)]
As President Moon Jae-in could not attend the services, the master of ceremony delivered his message that said he will ensure that the safety of Koreans will be the foremost value in the nation.
During a meeting with his key officials at the top office on Monday, President Moon vowed to continue investigating the cause of the ferry's sinking and bring back the five bodies that remain missing.
He said Sunday that the search for the bodies will resume when the nearly seven-thousand ton ferry is placed in an upright position in May.
The vessel currently lies on its side at the southwestern port of Mokpo, after it was lifted from the seabed early last year.
The government plans to consult with the bereaved families and members of the public on ways to utilize the wreckage of the ferry to raise safety awareness across the nation.
Oh Sooyoung, KBS World Radio News.