PPP agrees to participate in parliamentary probe into Itaewon tragedy after passing national budget


SEOUL– The ruling People Power Party (PPP) decided Wednesday to take part in a parliamentary probe into the Itaewon crowd crush after the National Assembly first passes the national budget for next year.


The decision, reached in a general meeting of the party lawmakers, represents a reversal of the party’s earlier position that it can agree to a parliamentary investigation only if the ongoing police investigation falls short.


The decision came two days after PPP floor leader Joo Ho-young put forward the idea during a meeting with his counterpart from the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), saying he would try to seek consent from party lawmakers.


“We received approval on conducting a parliamentary investigation after dealing with the national budget,” Joo told reporters as he announced the decision. “We were given a mandate to hold negotiations on detailed investigation plans, but there was an order that we should not make too many concessions.”


The DP has been pushing for an immediate investigation.


Earlier this month, the DP and two minor opposition parties — the Justice Party and the Basic Income Party — submitted a joint request to kick off a 60-day probe into the Oct. 29 tragedy that killed at least 158 Halloween partygoers in Seoul’s Itaewon district.


The DP plans to pass the motion Thursday.


Joo also said the PPP will submit a list of its members to take part in an envisioned special committee to oversee the parliamentary investigation after further negotiation with the DP.


“If the negotiation ends successfully, we will be able to attend the plenary session tomorrow, and if there is still disagreement in the negotiation, we won’t be able to take part,” Joo said.




Source: Yonhap News Agency