It is an English version of a documentary special, “Cruel Times: Lies of a Nation,” published by Newstapa on April 16, 2015, marking the first anniversary of the Sewol ferry disaster. English subtitles have been made by the Sewol Ferry Worldwide Supporters Translation Team.

The Sewol ferry sank in the sea off Jindo on April 16 last year. What has been done during the past year for victims that have never returned?

A year has passed after the Sewol ferry disaster and nine bodies are still missing. The bereaved families, who have witnessed poor search efforts made by the government for the past seven months, firmly believe that the bodies of their loved ones are still remaining inside the sunken ferry. Yet, even after a body was found from a location where rescue authorities had claimed to have searched for 13 times, the government terminated search efforts while insisting it did its best. After having met thoses who were responsible for the search efforts, Newstapa reporters expose the details of the poor search opearation for the first time.

Our investigation has reached a conclusion.

“the country has left a deep resentment in the hearts of the victims’ families.”

The underwater search is no longer an option for the families. The only way that the families can find the bodies of their loved ones is to salvage the sunken ferry. The government acted as if it would embark on the immediate salvage of the ferry after the completion of the search opearation. However, it changed its stance and procrastinated the salvage by claiming to be reviewing technical possibilities.   Ahead of the first anniversary of the accident, President Park Geun-hye at last called to salvage the sunken ferry. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, after the President’s remark, finally announced that the salvage is technically possible. Yet, since May last year, the government has already known technical ways to salvage the Sewol.  

The families of the missing victims tell.

“We have been deceived by the government.”


On the fatal day last year, the victims went aboard the Sewol without knowing they would not return. Their parents demand to know where they are now and why they have not returned. The idea of a special investigation committee on the Sewol ferry disaster was born out of the longing of the families. However, the committee is on the verge of falling through without being launched yet.

Who is killing the last hopes of the families who have lost their loved ones?

April 16, 2014

We promised not to forget.

We vowed not to be patient with injustice.

April 16, 2015

Are we battling with oblivion?

Are we protesting obedience?