(LEAD) Yoon vows to create safe country on 1st anniversary of Itaewon tragedy

SEOUL, President Yoon Suk Yeol said Sunday he will continue working toward building a safe South Korea, as the country observed the first anniversary of the deadly crowd crush in Seoul.

Yoon made the point during his memorial speech at Youngahm Church in Seoul, while attending a service commemorating the 159 people killed in the crowd crush in the nightlife district of Itaewon on Oct. 29, 2022, during Halloween celebrations.

“This day last year was the saddest day of my life, and I believe everyone in South Korea feels the same way that I do,” Yoon told the audience. “I’d like to express my condolences to those who lost their lives in this unfortunate accident. As citizens of the country that those people loved, we have the responsibility to build a better world.

“Over the past year, our government has put in a lot of work to build a safe Korea,” Yoon added. “And we will keep working hard to achieve the goal of ensuring safety in the country. We must make sure the sacrifices of the victims will not go to waste.”

According to the presidential office, Yoon attended the Seoul church throughout his elementary school years and until the first year of middle school.

High-ranking officials from the government, the ruling People Power Party and the presidential office were also on hand for the service at the church, Yoon’s office added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency