Itaewon Tragedy 1st Anniversary Government's Continued Neglect
It has been one year since the Itaewon Tragedy occurred on October 29. From last autumn when the tragedy unfolded, changing seasons four times and returning to fall again, the bereaved families have struggled tirelessly. They formed an association, participated in parliamentary investigations, special police investigations, criminal trials, and impeachment proceedings, all in their quest for a thorough investigation and accountability.
Yet, the truth of that day remains undisclosed, and the special law created to address the daunting task is stagnating in the legislative committee. Despite the outrageous tragedy that unfolded on the streets of Seoul, there has been no proper reflection or accountability from the officials. A full year has passed without any genuine remorse, and without comprehensive measures to prevent a recurrence." (Statement by Lawyers' Group for Democratic Society, October 27)
On October 29th, a civic commemoration event for the 1st anniversary of the Itaewon Tragedy was held at Seoul Plaza in Jung-gu, Seoul. More than 17,000 citizens attended the event, expressing condolences and solidarity with the bereaved families. Representatives from the four opposition parties (Democratic Party, Justice Party, Progressive Party, Basic Income Party) also participated, delivering speeches of condolence. (wspaper)
Despite numerous attendees, including political figures, urging the government for apologies and a thorough investigation, President Yoon did not attend, citing 'political rally' as the reason."
Lee Jeong-min, the chairman of the Itaewon Tragedy Bereaved Families Association, addressed President Yoon who expressed his intention not to attend the memorial saying, 'You recently said, 'The people are always right.' I wanted to hear your answer on why 159 victims had to become stars in the sky. Do you believe there is no government responsibility?' (Polinews) Furthermore, he emphasized the need for the establishment of the 'Special Law on Investigating the Truth of the 10.29 Itaewon Tragedy,' stating that the special law is the most crucial legislation to discuss the causes of the Itaewon Tragedy and prevent its recurrence.
Some have criticized President Yoon's absence, suggesting that it might be an attempt to evade responsibility as the person who declared 'war on drugs' and exercises authoritative control over rallies. With the growing anger among the bereaved families and citizens due to the government's irresponsible attitude, there is a pressing need for President Yoon's administration to address the situation.