Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A special team of investigators in South Korea raided the government's audit office to seize documents related to the 2014 Sewol ferry sinking that led to the death of more than 300 people.
The raid on Thursday morning comes amid "suspicions" regarding the naval rescue vessel Tongyeong, which was not dispatched to the scene of the ferry sinking due to inadequate sonar equipment, Yonhap reported.
The raid was conducted to find documents regarding Tongyeong and to review the reasons for not deploying the ship.
Following the ferry sinking, which took place during the administration of President Park Geun-hye, Seoul's audit office had inspected the country's maritime police agencies.
On Thursday South Korea's prosecution said the audit office is not under investigation, but that the office was raided as part of "procedure for securing data."
Park, who is in prison for allowing acquaintances to use her office for corruption schemes, has been frequently blamed for not responding effectively to the sinking of the South Korean ferry in 2014.
Park's father, dictator Park Chung Hee, strengthened military rule in South Korea, which continued under President Chun Doo-hwan.
Chun has been accused of ordering helicopters to fire at civilians during the 1980 Gwangju Uprising. Progressive groups have demanded severe penalties for Chun, who ruled from 1979 to 1988.
Television network SBS reported Thursday activists gathered in Gwanghwamun in central Seoul to express their anger toward Chun.
Following an outdoor press conference, activists took turns hitting and kicking a bronze sculpture of Chun, who was depicted behind prison bars and kneeling, according to the report.
Condemnations of South Korea's authoritarian past are rising at a time when prosecutors are conducting an independent investigation into the 2018 mayoral race in the city of Ulsan, Segye Ilbo reported Thursday.
Local opinion of the investigations reflects a deep political divide in the country. Conservatives in South Korea who were aligned with Park Geun-hye have said the current administration of President Moon Jae-in interfered in local elections. Ruling progressives have denied the charges.