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South Korean ferry crew face start of trial

Crew members from the sunken South Korean ferry have arrived at a court in Gwangju, the closest city to the scene of the disaster, to face charges ranging from negligence to homicide.

The ship's captain is led upstairs ahead of today's hearing. Credit: AP

Captain Lee Joon-seok was escorted in handcuffs to the court along with the 14 surviving crew members responsible for the ship's navigation.

Lawyers and prosecutors are today expected to begin their arguments and start questioning defendants.

Captain Lee Joon-seok, 68, and three senior crew members have been charged with homicide, and could be sentenced to death.

Two were charged with fleeing and abandoning ship, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Nine were charged with negligence, which can carry jail terms.

South Korean gunman caught after shooting himself

A South Korean soldier who shot and killed five of his comrades in a grenade and gun attack near the armed border with North Korea has been captured after shooting himself, military officials have said.

The sergeant, who has been identified only by his surname Yim, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and is being transferred to hospital.

The official added: "At around 14:55 (0555 GMT), Sergeant Yim harmed himself in his side with a K-2 rifle and was sent to the hospital."

The gun used was a stand issue assault rifle used by the South Korean military.

South Korean troops had cornered the soldier to a densely wooded area on Monday, and were trying to negotiate a peaceful end to a manhunt that started two days earlier with the grenade attack.


Gun battle as South Korea hunts rogue soldier

South Korean troops are engaged in a shootout with a conscript soldier who shot and killed five comrades late on Saturday, media reports said.

The soldier exchanged gunfire with troops who were seeking to capture him near an elementary school in the Goseong region near the border with North Korea, Yonhap news agency and YTN television news said.

Operation to find South Korean soldier continues

The South Korean military are continuing to search for a missing soldier who killed five of his comrades and wounded seven others before fleeing.

The shooting occured at an outpost in Gangwon province near the border with North Korea. Credit: Google Maps

The sergeant, identified by his surname Yim, opened fire at an outpost in Gangwon province near the border town of Goseong on Saturday night.

A huge operation to find the soldier was ordered straight after the incident.

Despite recent tension on the border, there is no suggestion that North Korea was involved in the shootings.


South Korean soldier 'on the run' after shooting

A South Korean soldier has reportedly gone on the run after killing five comrades at the border with North Korea, the Associated Press has reported.

South Korea: 'Murderer' cries as ferry crew attend court

Family members of passengers aboard the sunken ferry Sewol struggle with a security officer. Credit: Reuters

Fifteen crew of a South Korean ferry that sank in April killing more than 300 people, most of them children, have gone on trial on charges ranging from negligence to murder.

Cries of "murderer" were heard as the captain entered the court.

Captain Lee Joon-seok, 68, and three senior crew members were charged with homicide, facing a maximum sentence of death. Two were charged with fleeing and abandoning ship that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Nine were charged with negligence, which can also carry jail terms.

Emotions ran high in court as family members appeared to have already convicted the crew who were caught on video allegedly abandoning ship while the passengers, obeying orders, waited in their cabins for further instructions.

South Korea's president vows to disband coastguard

South Korea's president announced the country's coastguard will be disbanded, in a televised apology and speech.

Read: South Korean president to issue public apology

South Korea's president bowed deeply before her emotional statement and apology. Credit: AP Photos.

Park Geun-hye said the rescue operations after the April 16 disaster a failure, and she would push for legislation that would transfer the coastguard's responsibilities to the National Police Agency and a new government body she plans to establish.

More than a month after the sinking, 286 bodies have been retrieved but 18 others are still missing. Some 172 people, including 22 of the ship's 29 crew members, survived.

S. Korea president to 'issue apology' over ferry deaths

The president of South Korea Park Geun-hye is to make a televised speech this week apologising to the families of the 286 victims killed in the Sewol ferry disaster, her office has said.

President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye Credit: AA / TT/TT News Agency/Press Association Images

According to state news agency Yonhap, the South Korean president will make a public apology to the nation on Monday morning, a month after the disaster occurred.

She is due to reveal plans to overhaul the national security system and government bureaucracy, and revamp the emergency management system, officials told the news agency.

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