Korea Interbank Offered Rates Remain Steady, Reports Yonhap InfomaxSeoul Metropolitan Police Chief Recommended for Indictment in Itaewon Tragedy

SEOUL — The Korea Interbank Offered Rates (KORIBOR) were reported by Yonhap Infomax at 11:00 a.m., showing a steady trend in short-term and long-term loan rates among banks.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the rates for various terms remained consistent with the previous session. The one-week rate stood at 3.50%, unchanged from its previous value. Similarly, the one-month and two-month rates were stable at 3.55% and 3.62%, respectively.

The three-month KORIBOR, however, saw a slight decrease from 3.69% to 3.68%. The six-month rate also dropped marginally from 3.69% to 3.67%. In contrast, the twelve-month rate showed a decrease, moving from 3.61% to 3.59%.

These figures are indicative of the current stability in the interbank lending market in South Korea.

SEOUL — In a significant development following the Itaewon crowd crush incident, an external prosecutorial committee recommended on Monday the indictment of Kim Kwang-ho, the chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA). This decision comes in the wake of a tragedy that claimed the lives of 159 people, predominantly young adults, on October 29, 2022.

According to Yonhap News Agency, after a seven-hour deliberation, a 9-6 majority favored the indictment of SMPA Chief Kim on charges of professional negligence linked to the fatal incident. The committee, consisting of 15 outside experts, plays a crucial role in guiding prosecutorial actions in high-profile cases.

However, the committee advised against the indictment of Choi Seong-beom, the former chief of Yongsan Fire Station, with a decisive 1-14 vote. This decision marks a significant divergence in the accountability of officials involved in the Itaewon tragedy.

The push for indictment follows a protracted investigation process. The Seoul Western District Prosecutors Office had been evaluating the case since police concluded their investigation and referred it on January 13 of the previous year. The special police investigation team had labeled the incident a "man-made" disaster, attributing it to the failure of authorities in implementing disaster prevention strategies and reacting adequately during the emergency. In their report, they referred 23 officials to the prosecution for review.

The district prosecutors office has stated that it will thoroughly examine the evidence, facts, and legal principles in light of the investigation findings and the committee's recommendation. While the regulations of the Supreme Prosecutors Office suggest prosecutors generally adhere to the committee's recommendations, they are not legally bound to do so.

The investigative review committee is a mechanism employed by the prosecution in cases that attract significant public attention. For each case, 15 experts are randomly selected from a pool of 150 to 300 members to provide an independent perspective on the matters at hand.

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