President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Friday en route to South Korea. Pic: AP.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Barack Obama is stepping into the familiar role of chief consoler as he meets with South Korean officials reeling from a deadly ferry disaster.

Obama arrived in Seoul Friday for his fourth visit to South Korea as president. He has meetings scheduled with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and plans to lay a wreath at a war memorial.

But the ferry disaster will cast a shadow over Obama’s trip. More than 300 people are dead or missing, with the vast majority of the victims students from one high school.

The president is expected to express his condolences to the victims’ families during his public remarks in South Korea.

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