"The conduct of the captain and some crew members is utterly incomprehensible and it was tantamount to murder that cannot and should not be tolerated."
Likening the act to "murder," President Park Geun-hye criticized the actions taken by the captain and his crew at the time of the accident, during a meeting with senior secretaries on Monday.
A communications log had revealed that the captain and crew members of the Sewol-ho ferry had called on passengers to stay where they were during the time of the accident.
President Park vowed to make sure justice is handed down.
"The cause of the accident will be found out later after the investigation, but we will uncover all irregularities from the incident and make sure those who were responsible are held accountable."
The captain and two other crew members are now charged with negligence of duty and violation of maritime law.
President Park also had pointed words for public officials, some of whom have been facing criticism for inadequate efforts in rescue operations.
"If the people have distrust against the public officials and are criticizing them for not carrying out their responsibilities, they have no right to hold their positions. I will throw out all public officials who are working just to keep their posts."
During the days following the accident, families of the victims grew furious at the government-related personnel and also the coast guard,.. for making conflicting announcements on the number of victims and survivors.
The families also expressed frustration, that the numbers of rescue personnel dispatched to the site and the numbers announced by the government did not match up.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.