Parliament in South Korea approves a new investigation on the fatal 2022 crowd crush.


The National Assembly of South Korea voted on Thursday to pass a bill supporting a new investigation into the 2022 Halloween crowd crush that killed many, supported by both the ruling and opposition parties.

President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoed a previous bill in January that had the backing of the opposition-led parliament but not the People Power Party (PPP).

Yoon’s office claims that the most recent bill is a compromise that does away with the provision giving the panel complete investigative authority, to which Yoon had objected.

The measure calls for an investigation of the incident by a committee chaired by representatives of the two major parties, who will select the committee’s members after consultation.

Following the PPP’s humiliating loss in the general election last month, Yoon met with opposition leader Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party on Monday to discuss the passing of the measure.

It also occurs in the midst of mounting pressure on authorities to hold those accountable, including from victim relatives.

A spokesman for Yoon hailed the deal made on the measure between the opposition and ruling parties on Wednesday, saying it represented a return to political collaboration.

Nearly 160 people were murdered in the Halloween crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood in 2022, and since then, the UN Human Rights Committee and the relatives of the dead have called for an impartial investigation.

The primary causes of the fatal crush were determined by a police inquiry that was made public early last year to be a lack of planning and an inadequate response.

Prosecutors in South Korea filed an indictment against the former chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in January, alleging that his incompetence contributed to the crush.

To date, the crush has not resulted in the resignation or dismissal of any top government members, including the minister of interior and safety.

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