May 18 - North Korea expresses 'profound consolations regret' to families of victims of a building collapse in Pyongyang. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION North Korea expressed "profound consolations and an apology" to bereaved families of victims of an apartment building collapse in Phyongchon District, Pyongyang, the country's official news agency reported on Sunday (May 18). The building came tumbling down on May 13. KCNA released photographs of an unidentified North Korean official saluting the families at the accident site on May 17. A statement carried by KCNA said the construction of the apartment block had "not been done properly" and that officials had supervised and managed it in an "irresponsible manner". In the rare admission of fault, the statement also said the collapse "claimed lives" and that the rescue operation came to an end on May 17, without elaborating on the number of dead or injured. North Korean authorities launched an intensive campaign to rescue victims and provide medical help to the wounded, the statement added. The acknowledgement by North korea comes as South Korean President Park Geun-hye's administration faces continued criticism for its handling of the Sewol ferry disaster. Families of victims of that tragedy say that an initial response could have saved more lives.