Washington, DC - Statement by President Barack Obama on the Tragic Ferry Sinking Off the Coast of the Republic of Korea:

"On behalf of all the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the tragic ferry sinking off the coast of the Republic of Korea.  The bonds of friendship between the American and Korean people are strong and enduring, and our hearts ache to see our Korean friends going through such a terrible loss, especially the loss of so many young students.  South Korea is one of our closest allies, and American Navy personnel and U.S. Marines are already on the scene assisting with the search and rescue efforts.  I’ve directed our military to provide any and all assistance requested by our Korean partners in the days ahead.  As I will underscore on my visit to Seoul next week, America’s commitment to our ally South Korea is unwavering in good times and in bad.  As the Korean people deal with this heartbreaking tragedy, they will have the unending support and friendship of the United States."