South Korean president apologizes for stampede in downtown Seoul


South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol has apologized to the nation for the deadly Itaewon crowd crush, saying he will ensure a thorough investigation into the tragedy and hold those responsible to account, Report informs referring to The Korea Times.

Yoon issued the apology during a meeting held to review crowd control and other safety regulations in the wake of the tragedy that killed 156 people on October 29.

“I dare not compare myself to the parents who lost their sons and daughters, but as the president who should protect the people’s lives and safety, I grieve and my heart is heavy,” he said. “I am apologetic and sorry to the bereaved families who are facing an indescribable tragedy and to nation that is sharing in the pain and sadness.”

The remark was seen as his first formal apology to the nation, though he previously apologized in remarks during Buddhist and Christian memorial services.

Yoon renewed his call on the government to handle the aftermath of the tragedy in a responsible manner, and to improve existing anti-disaster and safety regulations to make the nation safer.

“In particular, in order to protect the people’s safety, we need major innovations in the way police prepare against risks and prevent accidents,” he said. “I will make sure the truth is thoroughly determined regarding this tragedy and disclose the process to the public in a transparent manner that leaves not a trace of doubt.”

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