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South Korea President Consoles Families of Ferry Victims

People wait to pay tribute to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol as yellow ribbons with messages for missing passengers are displayed at a group memorial altar in Ansan, South Korea, May 4, 2014.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye has visited with families of passengers still missing after the sinking of a ferry last month, pledging to severely punish those responsible for the disaster.

The South Korean leader on Sunday told the families waiting at the port of Jindo, near when the ship sank, that her "heart breaks" to think about how they must feel.

The confirmed death toll on Sunday reached 244, with 58 still missing, while 174 survived.

The 6,800-ton ferry Sewol was carrying 476 people, of which 325 were students from the same high school on a field trip to the southwest island of Jeju, when it capsized and sank on April 16.

The disaster shocked and angered South Korea, with widespread criticism directed at the ship's crew for abandoning the overloaded vessel before an evacuation was fully under way.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.