South Korea cancels concerts, government briefings after Itaewon disaster
SEOUL – As the death toll exceeds 150 following a stampede during Halloween celebrations in Seoul, South Korea is cancelling events from government briefings to K-pop concerts.
President Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday declared a period of national mourning that will run until Nov 5.
The Finance Ministry called off a planned press briefing with foreign media, while local officials cancelled events including Halloween parties and the opening ceremony for one of the Korea’s largest sales festivals.
A major K-pop event in Busan that was expected to draw about 40,000 people was also cancelled, the organiser said.
Theme parks operated by Samsung C&T and Hotel Lotte – Everland in Yongin and Lotte World in Jamsil – also cancelled Halloween-related parades and firework displays scheduled throughout November.
SM Entertainment announced that the company’s Halloween party, which was to be broadcast online, will not go ahead.
Starbucks Korea and some department stores halted promotions of Halloween-related products, according to Yonhap News.
Singapore President Halimah Yacob said on Sunday that she was “deeply shocked and saddened” to hear of the tragedy.
“It is hard to imagine the trauma and grief experienced by the families, loved ones and friends of those affected,” Madam Halimah said in a Facebook post.
She sent her thoughts and prayers to the people of South Korea, and wished a quick and full recovery to all those who were injured.
The Singapore Embassy in Seoul also said on Sunday it was saddened by the incident.
In a Facebook post, it said Singaporeans who require urgent consular assistance may contact the Embassy’s Duty Officer at 010-7204-6240 (if calling from outside South Korea, dial 8210-7204-6240).
Other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have also expressed their condonlences..