World leaders send condolence messages to S. Korea over Itaewon crush

SEOUL– World leaders from the U.S., China and Britain to Mexico have sent messages of condolences and support to South Korea after a deadly stampede in Seoul’s Itaewon district killed at least 151 people during Halloween celebrations.

“We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and send our best wishes for a quick recovery to all those who were injured,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement. “The United States stands with the Republic of Korea during this tragic time.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to Yoon, saying he expresses “deep condolences to the victims on behalf of the Chinese government and people, and sends heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a tweet, “All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

In a message written in French and Korean, French President Emmanuel Macron said, “I extend my condolences to the citizens of Seoul and the Korean people in the Itaewon disaster. France is by your side.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a tweet that his country is “deeply saddened by the tragic events in Seoul,” calling it “a sad day for South Korea,” and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement he was “very shocked and saddened” by the tragic accident.

Mexican President Manuel also tweeted a condolence message.

“We embrace the families and friends of those who lost their lives or are injured by the unfortunate tragedy in South Korea. We also send our most sincere solidarity to the people and government of that country,” the tweet read.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, also delivered similar messages of deep condolences.

Josep Borrell, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, said, “Deeply saddened by the terrible events in central Seoul. What meant to be a celebration turned into a tragedy with so many young casualties. We are with the people of the Republic of Korea at this difficult moment,”

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan wrote in a tweet that he hoped for “a quick recovery for those injured” in the “heartbreaking” accident and that the U.S. “stands ready to provide the Republic of Korea with any support it needs.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said, “We send our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and injured, as well as to the people of the ROK as they mourn this horrific tragedy,” referring to Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman left a tweet extending her “deepest condolences,” hoping for “a speedy recovery for all those injured.”

“We stand with the people of the Republic of Korea in mourning,” she wrote.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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