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Hungary Cruise Ship Sinking – Republic of Korea urgently deploys Navy’s Ship Salvage Unit (SSU) to Hungary

President Moon Jae-in instructed the government to mobilize all available means to rescue missing Koreans;

 personnel involved in rescue operations at the time of the Sewol ferry sinking deployed

  President Moon presided over an emergency meeting of relevant ministers;

 emphasized the importance of handling the accident promptly andcalled for full-scale mobilization of diplomacy in cooperation with neighboring countries


Rescue experts including members of the Navy’s Ship Salvage Unit (SSU) will be deployed to Budapest, Hungary to join rescue operations to find Korean tourists missing in the cruise sinking accident.

In an emergency meeting with relevant ministers on May 30th, President Moon Jae-in instructed that rescue personnel and equipment be deployed to Hungary as promptly as possible. The deployment is in line with his emphasis on the importance of handling the accident in a speedy manner.

The rescue experts include a seven-member rescue team from the Navy’s SSU, including some of the personnel involved in similar operations at the time of the Sewol ferry sinking, a six-member coast guard rescue unit, and two officials from the National Crisis Management Center. Following the dispatch of the emergency response team on Wednesday, which consists of 18 officials including 12 members of the National Fire Agency, they will depart for Budapest.

Earlier in the day, President Moon presided over an emergency meeting of ministers of related ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MIS), the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the National Fire Agency (NFA), and the Korea Coast Guard (KCG). “I know you are taking appropriate actions, but I would like you to mobilize all available diplomatic channels in your efforts to cooperate with the Hungarian authorities so that the search-and-rescue operations for missing persons can be conducted speedily,” Moon said,

stressing in particular the need to mobilize all available means to help the emergency rescue team, composed of members of the Navy, NFA and KCG and dispatched to Budapest, arrive at the accident site promptly. 

At the same time, President Moon said, “You must take special care to avoid the risk of any safety accidents in the midst of rescue operations,” and instructed them to make sure to keep the families of the dead and wounded and missing Koreans up to date about the situation, and take necessary actions to help them get there. 

He also added, “Our government will cooperate with the Hungarian government to support a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident. I, once again, ask relevant ministries, including MFA, MIS, MND and NFA, to make an all-out effort to support the families of the victims along with handling the accident. I hope the NIS will be helpful.”  

The government has offered prompt support by mobilizing its diplomatic capability and all available resources. Later in the day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha will depart for Hungary to support rescue operations for missing Republic of Koreans, and have talks with Hungarian authorities.

The government has also set up an emergency headquarters to protect overseas Koreans directed by Minister Kang, and dispatched an emergency response team headed by the MFA’s chief of overseas Koreans department to Hungary. As of 3 p.m., seven Republic of Korean tourists have been reported dead and 19 others are missing in the accident. 

By Joo-Hyeong, Lee < >

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