December 1, 2022

President Yoon: Do not ask if there was an organizer: The DONG-A ILBO

Regarding the “Itaewon Halloween tragedy,” Chairman 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 pointed out, “We need to put in place an institutional measure of collaboration in advance rather than knowing who is responsible for what between local government and the police.”

During a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Chairman Yoon reportedly said, “When a situation requires action, the situation begins to spiral out of control. If control measures are only put in place after the discovery of palpable dangers, more often than not, it is already too late.

 

Regarding President Yoon’s remarks on Monday on “a voluntary group event without an organizer,” the Democratic Party of Korea criticized him, saying, “It is inappropriate for President Yoon to blame the disaster on the shortcomings of the system.”

“The message (from the day before) that the President tried to convey has not changed at all. Yesterday’s comments were about the limits of the system, and what the President said today is to overcome these limits and to protect public safety in a given situation,” the MP said. Presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myeong said, “It’s about the importance of thorough preparation and improving the system in the future. The fact that there has been no organizer is irrelevant to ensuring public safety.”

“The Itaewon tragedy demonstrated the importance of managing and controlling crowd accidents, which are part of ‘crowd management,'” Chairman Yoon also said during the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “We need to develop crowd management technology by actively using advanced digital capabilities such as drones and making institutional improvements.”

President Yoon also ordered the formation of a “national security system monitoring meeting” during the cabinet meeting. “All security-related offices will participate with private experts to join in the creation of a new advisory body to assess existing security screening measures,” an official from the presidential office said. Meanwhile, the presidential office, which operates in 24/7 crisis mode, announced on Sunday that it would refrain from dining out with outside guests and focus on emergency response tasks.

The Ministry of Security and Public Administration has started to revise the Framework Law on Disaster Management and Security to hold local government accountable for ensuring the security of “large-scale events held without an organizer”, such as Halloween events. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security is also considering ways to implement the guidelines first so that the amendments can be implemented for real situations on the ground before they are adopted by the National Assembly.

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