|President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks to reporters as he arrives at the presidential office in Seoul, Nov. 10. Yonhap|
President Yoon Suk-yeol said Thursday he believes the people want to see a "scientific" and "compulsory" investigation into the Itaewon crowd crush, effectively dismissing the opposition's push for a parliamentary probe.
The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea and two minor parties jointly submitted a request for a parliamentary probe into the tragedy Wednesday. The request is expected to be handled during a plenary parliamentary session scheduled for later Thursday.
"Right now, the entire nation is hoping for a swift determination of the truth by investigative agencies based on a scientific investigation and a compulsory investigation," Yoon told reporters as he arrived for work, apparently drawing a contrast with the noncompulsory nature of a parliamentary probe.
"I think the people are hoping more for a determination of the truth first of all through a police investigation and then, after it is forwarded, a swift investigation by the prosecution," he said.
A police investigation is currently under way into the tragedy that killed 156 people, mostly in their 20s, on Oct. 29.
Yoon also spoke to the controversy surrounding a memo exchanged between two of his senior secretaries during a parliamentary audit session earlier this week. The note, apparently written by Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, read "Hilarious."
"Well, don't a lot of things happen when Cabinet members appear at the National Assembly?" he said. "I'd like you to understand from an overall perspective." (Yonhap)