Opposition Leader Lee Jae-myung Pledges to Uncover Truth of Itaewon Tragedy on First Anniversary

SEOUL — Democratic Party (DP) leader Lee Jae-myung vowed to reveal the truth behind the tragic crowd crush that occurred one year ago in the Itaewon district and took 159 lives. He made the commitment at a memorial event marking the anniversary of the tragedy, promising to hold those responsible accountable to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, Lee spoke in front of City Hall at Seoul Plaza during the memorial event. "It has been one year since 159 universes, and 159 worlds collapsed, but nothing has changed. The desperate appeals by the bereaved families are again ignored today, and those in power are only bent on covering up the truth," he said. Lee emphasized that the DP will "take the lead in ensuring that no more lives will be lost due to the state's incompetence and irresponsibility."

The event was attended by as many as 10,000 people, including grieving family members of the victims. Lee was joined by dozens of DP members and other politicians. Lee Jeong-min, who leads the council representing the victims' families, criticized President Yoon Suk Yeol for not attending the memorial. The presidential office cited the "political nature" of the event as the reason for Yoon's absence.

Attendees expressed disappointment at the ruling People Power Party (PPP), as some members left the event midway. Lee Jae-myung specifically criticized officials of the Yoon Suk Yeol government for not being present at the memorial.

Among those in attendance were also officials from diplomatic missions of countries whose citizens were among the victims. Iran's top envoy to Seoul, Saeed Koozechi, was present, as five Iranians had been killed in the tragedy, the highest death toll for a foreign country.

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