SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — Prime Minister Han Duck-soo issued an apology Wednesday for making a quip at a media briefing with foreign journalists with regard to the Halloween crowd crush in Itaewon.
“Regardless of the circumstances, I apologize for making people feel uncomfortable,” Han said in a statement.
During the media briefing Tuesday, Han was asked what is “the beginning and the end” of the government’s responsibility over the tragedy that left at least 156 people dead.
Han replied that the government will not avoid responsibility for the disaster, saying the government should take unlimited responsibility for the lives and safety of the people.
Then a technical problem occurred in simultaneous translation equipment, prompting a reporter to ask a question in the Korean language.
Han quipped with a smile, asking what is “the beginning and the end of responsibility of a person who is responsible for what you can’t hear well?”
With the quip drawing criticism, Han said he made the remark “with the intention of asking for understanding about” the technical problem.
Han also acknowledged insufficient crowd control and the government’s responsibility for the tragedy during the media briefing, according to the statement.