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Seoul announces a national mourning and condolence period

Seoul announces a national mourning and condolence period

Posted October. 31, 2022 07:57,   

Updated October. 31, 2022 07:57


The Korean government has set Oct. 30 to midnight of Nov. 5 as a national mourning period for the “Itaewon crushed deaths tragedy.” Yongsan-gu is announced as the special disaster zone, and subsidies for healing the bereaved and injured will be distributed.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Han Duk-soo stated, “During the mourning period, all public institutions and diplomatic offices will fly flags at half staff, and civil servants and employees of public institutions will wear ribbons to express their condolences during the mourning period” at the briefing after the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters (CDSCH) meeting led by President Yoon Suk-yeol at Central Government Complex. He also added that the Funeral Assistance Team would operate jointly between the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul Metropolitan City, and others to support the deceased. Furthermore, all the efforts shall be focused on providing the injured with medical care and treatment. The Itaewon Incident Psychological assisting team will be formed within the National Center for Disaster and Trauma to treat the injured family. Prime Minister Han Duk-soo said that the CDSCH would be in operation without a confined term until the recovery from the crushing accident is over.

President Yoon led in instructing accident recovery from Saturday night when the Itaewon crush tragedy occurred until Sunday. According to the Office of the President, President Yoon instructed that all related institutions should make assurance to be fully ready for swift rescue and medical treatment as of around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, which is about an hour past from the first report of the accident until ambulances were dispatched. The following day, at 1:00 a.m., the president presided over an emergency meeting at the underground bunker at Yongsan Presidential Office.

Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, said that President Yoon requested related government departments and regional local governments to work together and care for the bereaved family and injured in deep sorrow of losing family.” The president also said that he is very sad from viewing the tragedy as parents and that we should place ourselves in the shoes of the bereaved and work quickly on identifying the deceased and communicate it to the press on a real-time basis. President Yoon also asked to swiftly inform the diplomatic offices in Seoul about the foreigners who were deceased and injured from the crush.

Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com · Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com