Nat'l Assembly Passes Bill on Panel to Probe Itaewon Crowd Crush | Be Korea-savvy

Nat’l Assembly Passes Bill on Panel to Probe Itaewon Crowd Crush

The National Assembly (Yonhap)

The National Assembly (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – The opposition-led National Assembly on Tuesday passed a special bill on the launch of a committee to reopen an investigation into a deadly 2022 crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon district.

The bill, approved at a plenary meeting, aims to provide support to the victims and their bereaved family members and open a special investigation committee to determine the people responsible for the tragic accident that killed 159 people on the Halloween weekend in the nightlife district on Oct. 29 of that year.

The bill’s passage came unilaterally with votes from the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), which holds a controlling majority in the 298-member Assembly with 169 seats. The ruling People Power Party (PPP) boycotted the vote in protest.

The rival parties had agreed on the need for such legislation, but have failed to reach compromise on some details of the bill.

The PPP has argued the legislation is designed to stir up negative sentiment against the government ahead of the April general elections, while the DP has vowed to pass it to better support the victims.

The bill does not give the committee a mandate to request a special counsel and will come into effect on April 10, reflecting the arbitration proposal by Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo.

Under the bill, a special probe committee consisting of 11 members will be created to reinvestigate the Itaewon case.

Of the 11 members, three will be recommended by the National Assembly Speaker based on consultations with the victims’ family members and groups representing them.

The remaining eight members will be appointed by the president, upon the recommendation of the ruling and opposition parties.

The special probe committee will be active for one year, with a possible extension of up to six months.


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