South Korea ferry disaster may cloud Obama visit

April 24, 2014 • World News

A woman places a candle with others during candlelight vigil for the safe return of passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol in Ansan, South Korea, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Angry relatives of some of the more than 130 people still missing from the sinking of the ferry Sewol surrounded the [auth] fisheries minister and the coast guard chief Thursday, preventing them from leaving the area where families have been waiting for word of their loved ones for more than a week. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Barack Obama is stepping into the familiar role of chief consoler as he meets with South Korean officials reeling from a deadly ferry disaster.

Obama arrived in Seoul Friday for his fourth visit to South Korea as president. He has meetings scheduled with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and plans to lay a wreath at a war memorial.

But the ferry disaster will cast a shadow over Obama’s trip. More than 300 people are dead or missing, with the vast majority of the victims students from one high school.

The president is expected to express his condolences to the victims’ families during his public remarks in South Korea.

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