1. South Korean President Park Geun-hye giving a speech at the Presidential Office
2. Cutaway of journalists
3. Medium of Park Geun-hye
4. SOUNDBITE (Korean) Park Geun-hye, South Korean President:
"The size of the coast guard became bigger and bigger, but it did not attain enough manpower and budget for maritime safety, and there was also a lack of lifesaving training. I judged that we won't be able to prevent other large scale accidents from now on if we leave this systematic problem as it is. Therefore, after much consideration, I concluded to disband the coast guard."
5. Cutaway of journalist
6. Wide of Park Geun-hye during speech
7. SOUNDBITE (Korean) Park Geun-hye, South Korean President:
"I could not sleep properly for the last few days in anguish, thinking of the tearful pain of many students who haven't bloomed yet, a child left alone on her last family trip (referring to an entire family on board of the ferry - only one member of that family survived), and the victims. I felt grief as a president who could not secure them and the families' trips. The final responsibility for not properly dealing with this incident is placed on me."
8. Park Geun-hye during speech
9. Close-up of Park Geun-hye in tears
10. SOUNDBITE: (Korean) Park Geun-hye, South Korean President (in tears):
"I believe these kind of people are the real heroes of our generation. To pay respects to them and to remind ourselves about the importance of safety, I propose building a monument and designating 16 April as a day of public safety."
South Korea's president announced plans on Monday to disband the coast guard and root out corruption and collusion between regulators and shipping companies that furious citizens believe led to a ferry disaster last month that left more than 300 people dead or missing.
President Park Geun-hye's first televised address to the nation since the April 16 sinking began with a deep bow and ended with her tearfully reading the names of passengers and crew who died trying to save others.
With her approval ratings plummeting ahead of mayoral and governor elections in about two weeks, the speech sought to acknowledge widespread anger over government failures as well as chart a path forward.
Most of the victims were students from a single high school near Seoul who were travelling to the southern tourist island of Jeju.
"I felt grief as a president who could not secure them and the families' trips," Park said.
Park has apologised before, but critics have called for her to formally address the nation and respond to claims that incompetence, corruption and bad leadership doomed the ferry and those trapped inside it.
A focus was the coast guard, which has been under growing public criticism over allegations of poor coordination and slow search-and-rescue work during the initial stages of the sinking.
Park called the coast guard's rescue operations a failure and said she would push for legislation that would transfer its responsibilities to the National Police Agency and a new government safety agency she plans to establish.
"The final responsibility for not properly dealing with this incident is placed on me," she said.
"I believe these kind of people are the real heroes of our generation", she added in tears, referring to those who lost their lives in the incident.
More than one month after the sinking, 286 bodies have been retrieved but 18 others are still missing.
Some 172 people, including 22 of the ship's 29 crew members, survived.
Prosecutors last week indicted 15 crew members tasked with navigating the ship, four on homicide charges.
The ship's captain, Capt. Lee Joon-seok, initially told passengers to stay in their cabins and took about half an hour to issue an evacuation order, but it's not known if his message was ever conveyed to passengers.
The head of the company that operates the ferry, Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd., and four other company employees have also been arrested.
Authorities suspect improper stowage and overloading of cargo may have contributed to the disaster.