SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Civic groups urged the foreign ministry on Monday to more actively demand Spain work to verify the truth behind the recent death of a South Korean woman in Madrid and apologize for what they called a “man-made” tragedy.
Lee Ji-hyeon, 32, died in the Spanish capital on Dec. 20 after a stone fragment fell off from a government building and hit her head, according to the bereaved family. She had been studying in Spain since March.
During a press conference, the civic groups claimed that her death was due to Madrid’s flawed management of the building, while accusing Spain of trying to shirk responsibility with a claim that her death was just an accident caused by a typhoon.
“We are frustrated that the Spanish government claims this to have been caused by a natural disaster without trying to take any responsibility,” the groups said in a statement. “This is man-made,” they added.
The ministry has pledged to offer “maximum” consular support, but it appears to have fallen short of her family’s expectations.
Lee’s parents, who live in the southeastern city of Busan have recently vented their anger over the Spanish government’s handling of their daughter’s case on social media, triggering public calls for more active diplomatic efforts by Seoul to address the issue.