Major South Korean Newspapers Highlight Nationwide Concerns, From Mourning to Politics

SEOUL — On October 30, major South Korean newspapers addressed an array of pressing issues, capturing the zeitgeist of the nation. The topics ranged from mourning for a crowd crush incident to political stances ahead of parliamentary elections, and from international affairs to growing household debts.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kyunghyang Shinmun reported that state officials did not participate in parades mourning the crowd crush, while Kookmin Daily argued for a shift from a cycle of evasion and punishment to one of consolation and recovery concerning the same incident. In the health sector, Donga Ilbo featured the role of American neighborhood clinics serving as family doctors and even advising on diets.

Seoul Shinmun focused on the political landscape, noting that the ruling party is targeting young voters, while the opposition is centering its strategy on the middle-aged demographic for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Public safety legislation, however, remains stalled due to bipartisan disagreements, as reported by Segye Times.

On the international front, Chosun Ilbo announced that Israel has begun the 'second stage of war' against Hamas, while JoongAng Ilbo reported that the presidential office has issued a warning concerning the rise in household debts and plans to tighten lending regulations. Hankyoreh mentioned that prosecutors are employing unrelated charges to seek arrest warrants in a defamation probe against the president.

Furthermore, 45 percent of people are experiencing trauma from the Itaewon tragedy, as per Hankook Ilbo. Maeil Business Newspaper reported that efforts to reclaim COVID-19 assistance money provided to small merchants have been canceled. Korea Economic Daily covered Israel's initiation of a ground war in Gaza, sparking fears of a third oil shock.

In the English-language dailies, Korea JoongAng Daily reported that over 3,000 people have rallied to mark the Itaewon disaster, and the Korea Herald stated that calls for an investigation and apology continue one year after the tragedy. Safety measures are now a top priority one year after the Itaewon crowd crush, as reported by Korea Times.

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