Seoul -

An additional victim from the South Korea ferry has been retrieved from the water, raising the death toll to 289.

A government task force says the body was found on Thursday floating about 40km away from where the ship sank off the south coast.

The task force's statement says fingerprint scans identified the body as one of passengers from the ferry that sank in April.

It was the first body recovered since May 21.

Heavy objects like desks and cabinets have made it difficult for divers to navigate through unsearched parts of the ferry. They have been cutting open parts of the ship exterior to make searches easier.

Fifteen other people are still listed missing. - Sapa-AP