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KR chairman and ceo Chon Young-kee resigns over Sewol

KR chairman and ceo Chon Young-kee resigns over Sewol
The Korean Register's (KR) chairman and ceo, Chon Young-Kee, has announced his resignation today.

The resignation comes in the wake of the sinking of KR-classed Korean ferry Sewol on 16 April, which has left over 180 dead and a further 115 still missing.

In an emailed press release, a KR spokesperson said, “Dr Chon has decided to step down as chief executive of KR to ease the pain and sorrow of the Korean people and the families who lost their loved ones on board 'Sewol'.The thoughts and prayers of all KR staff are with those who have been affected by this tragedy.”

Chon, a 30-year classification society veteran, follows the prime minister of South Korea, who also announced his resignation yesterday in relation to the Sewol incident.

Following Sewol's sinking, an investigation aboard sister ship Ohamana found 40 non-operational life rafts, inadequately maintaned escape chutes and missing lashing equipment.

KR's offices in Busan were raided last week as South Korean prosecutors searched for signs of bribery and corruption across the Korean shipping industry.

KR went on to state that the chairman's resignation suggests no wrongdoing or negligence, and that "the actual cause behind the accident will not be known until the on-going investigation is complete, but we are confident that we have performed our duties diligently and in strict accordance with the relevant national and international regulations as well as our rules."

Chon is widely respected in the industry and was first head of KR to be internally promoted rather than an outside appointee.