Main opposition proposes extending parliamentary probe into Itaewon tragedy by at least 10 days

SEOUL– The floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) called Tuesday for extending the parliamentary investigation into the deadly Itaewon crowd crush by at least 10 days as the 45-day probe is scheduled to end this week.

Rep. Park Hong-geun said the investigation should be extended as there is too little time left to hold hearings and draw up a report on the Oct. 29 tragedy that killed 159 Halloween partygoers in Seoul’s Itaewon district.

After Park made the extension proposal to his ruling People Power Party (PPP) counterpart, Rep. Joo Ho-young, Joo agreed on the need for an extension, DP spokesperson Rep. Lee Soo-jin said, adding that the PPP appears to be internally discussing the issue.

The death toll in the tragedy rose by one Tuesday after the government decided to recognize a teenage survivor who was found dead in apparent suicide afterward as a victim of the tragedy.

Park shared the idea with a group of bereaved families and promised them to hold those who refuse to attend hearings or give false testimonies to account.

The 45-day parliamentary investigation kicked off on Nov. 26, but a proper probe was delayed while the National Assembly dealt with the state budget plan for 2023.

“A poll showed that 62 percent of people lost interest in politics because of the ongoing parliamentary investigation,” Lee Jong-cheol, the head of the group of the victims’ families, said.

The families also reiterated their call for President Yoon Suk Yeol’s official apology and the dismissal of Interior Minister Lee Sang-min.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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