Lee Joo Young’s bedroom was left exactly as it was the night she left on October 29th, and never came back.
“She was a charismatic girl,” her father Jeongmin said with a smile.
“She was clearly the leader, she ran her own business. She controlled me, her wife, and her brother.”
Jooyoung was 29 years old and planned to get married in September this year. In fact, she had just purchased her wedding dress, but she spontaneously decided to hang out with her fiancé on Halloween in Itaewon, South Korea’s capital city of Seoul. advertisement
That night, 159 of his people, mostly young people, died when the narrow streets of his neighborhood became extremely overcrowded. Lee Joo’s fiancé Young was rescued, but not.
Mr. Lee and other relatives in Seoul now hope justice will be served. Last month, he was the vice president of the Itaewon Disaster Victims’ Families Association.
But what they want and what is delivered to them are polar opposites. A long-awaited police investigation suggests the crash could have been avoided. It was a “man-made disaster” due to poor planning, lack of crowd control, and weak emergency response.
Twenty-three police officers are currently facing prison sentences for “death due to professional negligence.” Separately, two police officers were arrested in November on suspicion of ordering the suppression of internal reports about security issues on Halloween.
However, most of the suspects are police officers and local councilors in the areas where the crushing took place. In other words, South Korean officials were absolved of any responsibility for what happened. The Itaewon Victims’ Bereaved Families Association commented, “I cut off the lizard’s tail to save its head.”
“We never trust the Special Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation into the Itaewon case. “We have always said that families cannot investigate families,” said the group. Chairman Lee Jong Chul says.
“For example, at the Ministry of the Interior, no one was questioned. Neither the mayor of Seoul nor the commissioner of the National Police Agency attended. We believe they should all be held accountable for what happened. ”
But what does “responsibility” mean? This is crucial to the Itaewon disaster and its aftermath.
For example, there seems to be little evidence that the South Korean Interior Minister was legally responsible for the incident near Seoul on Saturday night, which some might argue is unfair.
But the family says there are other issues beyond legal liability. “The administration has treated us with contempt and disrespect for the past three months,” Lee claims.
“I know it’s harder to pursue criminal charges, but I have an ethical responsibility.”
The issue of formal apologies has come up several times in the last ten weeks. The word “sorry” has been used by everyone from the local police chief to the president of South Korea, but what it actually means is often a matter of meaning.
Victims’ families believe that those responsible apologize for their loss, the actions of others, and the direness of the situation…one that does not require direct responsibility. Also, speaking to the bereaved families, there is an undeniable feeling that the government is indifferent and indifferent on all counts.
In November, his teenager, who lost both his best friend and lover in tragedy, committed suicide.
“My country doesn’t protect me,” says Itaewon Crush.
How Halloween Tragedy Unfolded in Seoul
South Korea’s prime minister described death as ‘heartbreaking’ and said ‘it would have been better if he had gotten a little stronger and received treatment’.After widespread condemnation, government will include young man in official death toll agreed.
It was later revealed that the police had requested an illegal drug test on the victim’s remains. Or the insistence of parents that they are never allowed to say goodbye to their children again. Or, the police interrogated juvenile survivors in clinics without parental presence.
All of this leads to lingering anger, and after about three months, families and entire countries find it difficult to find closure.
The National Disaster and Trauma Center, which has a special branch in Itaewon, has so far received aid for more than 5,600 people.
“The Itaewon accident is a national disaster in many respects. Shim Min-young, Director of the Center.
“I’ve seen people with panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. Some weren’t even there. I have only heard about it on TV and SNS.
“In my experience, no matter how thorough the investigation, there is never a completely clear solution that will ease the victim’s mind. It doesn’t mean there isn’t. This is important for recovery.”
Lee says she’s tired from nearly three months of campaigning, but she goes to her daughter’s room when she needs a recharge.
“She is determined to receive an apology from those in power so that her daughter can close her eyes in peace. “Good luck, Dad,” I said to her.
A rival congressional inquiry ended in confusion this week over political disagreements. The country’s main opposition party, which is leading the investigation, said it would indict the country’s interior minister and the commander of the national police for perjury.
Ultimately, however, the prosecution will decide to what extent criminal liability for accidents will be pursued.
The family decides when to go to the hospital.