Regarding the "Itaewon Halloween tragedy," President Yoon Suk-yeol said, "People's safety is of the utmost importance than whether or not there is an organizer for the event." He also emphasized, "We need to put an institutional measure for collaboration in advance rather than who is responsible for what between the local government and the police."
At a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, President Yoon is quoted as saying, “When a situation requires action, the situation starts to become out of control. If control measures are put in place only after palpable dangers are found, more often than not, it’s already too late.”
Regarding President Yoon's Monday remarks of "a voluntary group event without an organizer,” the Democratic Party of Korea criticized it, saying, "It is inappropriate for President Yoon to attribute the disaster to the shortcomings in the system."
"The message (from the previous day) the president tried to convey has not changed at all. Yesterday’s comments were about the system's limitations, and what the president said today is to overcome such limitations and protect public safety in any given situation,” deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myeong said. “It is about the importance of thorough preparation and system improvement in the future. The fact that there was no organizer is irrelevant in ensuring public safety."
“The Itaewon tragedy demonstrated the importance of managing and keeping under control crowd accidents, which is part of ‘crowd management,’” President Yoon also said at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “We must develop crowd management technology by actively utilizing cutting-edge digital capabilities such as drones and make institutional improvements.”
President Yoon also instructed the formation of a "National Security System Oversight Meeting" at the cabinet meeting. “All the safety-related offices will participate with private experts to join in establishing a new consultative body to assess the existing safety control measures,” an official from the presidential office said. At the same time, the presidential office, which is operating under a 24/7 crisis mode, announced on Sunday to refrain from eating out with external guests and focus on emergency response tasks.
The Ministry of Security and Public Administration has begun revising the Framework Act on the Management of Disasters and Safety to hold the local government accountable for ensuring the safety of “large-scale events held without an organizer,” such as Halloween events. The Public Administration and Security Ministry is also reviewing ways first to implement guidelines so that the amendments can be implemented for actual field situations before they pass the National Assembly.
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