Main opposition party proposes extending parliamentary probe into Itaewon tragedy

SEOUL– The floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Friday called for extending the ongoing parliamentary probe into the Itaewon crowd crush and newly opening a hearing on the recent drone infiltration by North Korea.

Rep. Park Hong-geun made the remark at a party meeting, saying it is impossible to properly look into the Oct. 29 tragedy that killed 158 people and draw up measures to prevent similar accidents as only about a week remains in the investigation.

The 45-day probe is scheduled to end Jan. 7.

On Thursday, the parliamentary probe session was suspended as members of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) boycotted it while alleging that an aide to Rep. Yong Hye-in of the minor opposition Basic Income Party secretly took photos of two PPP lawmakers.

The DP floor leader accused the PPP of intentionally hindering and stalling the probe.

“We must hold a hearing with Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min, the bereaved families of the victims, experts and survivors to uncover the truth,” Park said.

Park also suggested holding a parliamentary hearing on the intrusion of five North Korean drones into South Korean airspace earlier this week, saying it is “not a matter that can be overlooked.”

“It is the National Assembly’s responsibility to hold a hearing to thoroughly check the military’s response capabilities in order to relieve people’s insecurity, as well as adopting a resolution,” Park said.

He noted passing a resolution criticizing the intrusion by the drones, as suggested by the PPP on Thursday, is a “meaningless measure.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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