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Designation of Arson Attack Subway Area As Special Disaster Zone

Designation of Arson Attack Subway Area As Special Disaster Zone

Posted February. 19, 2003 22:24,   


President Kim Dae-jung on Feb.19 declared the area, which was hit by a subway arson attack in Daegu, as a special disaster zone.

The scope of the special disaster area includes the arson attack-struck subway Jungangno Station area and victims of the subway arson and owners of the station stalls will receive financial assistance and other benefits from the central government.

President Kim made such a decision at the instance of Prime Minister Kim Suk-soo, chairman of the Central Emergency Control Committee, and directed government officials, “The government should double efforts to coupe with the arson disaster including providing a quick assistance, identifying victims, arranging funeral services, extending compensations and treatment, as soon as possible within its capacity.”

With the arson attack area being designated as a special disaster zone, the Ministry of Planning and Budget said that it would provide financial support to the area without a hitch by spending a 1.4 trillion worth of emergency reserve.

The ministry is planning to send government-administered financial assistance to the Daegu railroad corporation and the city of Daegu when there is an agreement reached on the size of expenses of funeral services, condolence, and compensation for victims and victims` family members.

In case of the deceased, the size of compensation for victims and their family members will be 175.2 million won, equivalent of multiplying the minimum wage, 730,000 won, by 240 months. For the injured, according to the severity of their injuries, the compensation will be 87.6 million won, the half of victims` compensation. Parting from the government compensations, if there is a nationwide public donation for the victims, compensation will be added by the donations.

In the past, the government provided 56.9 billion won and 11.1 billion won respectively for the victims of the collapsed Sampoong Department store in June of 1995 and forest fires in the east coast in April of 2000, which areas were also named as special disaster areas.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance is planning to offer a 9-month grace period of tax payment to business owners in the special disaster area. In addition, victims` family members will receive tax relief by regarding victims` funeral costs and medical bills as expenses and medical treatment bills for the injured will benefit from a year-end tax adjustment.

A government official said, “The detailed content and the scope of government assistance will be determined through a discussion between the representative of victims` family members and the city of Daegu, which will follow a damage assessment at the government level.

The Military Manpower Administration is planning to allow the subjects of physical examinations for conscription and draftees for army and special public services among victims` family members and people involved in recovery processes to delay their enrollments up to 60 days. In case of those who have received draft notices, they can delay their enrollment date through a telephone call or the Internet (www.mma.go.kr) without documents.

Young-Sik Kim Kwang-Hyun Kim spear@donga.com kkh@donga.com