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PM orders checks on emergency response system over N. Korea's provocations

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the government complex in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the government complex in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo ordered the interior ministry Tuesday to double-check the country's anti-missile evacuation and other emergency response systems amid heightened tension in the wake of a series of North Korean missile launches.

Han issued the order during a Cabinet meeting, saying there has been criticism of the government's air raid alert system when a North Korean missile flew across the inter-Korean sea border toward Ulleung Island last week before crashing near South Korean waters.

The missile launch prompted the central government to issue an air raid siren, but the island's residents were belatedly informed about what the situation was and how they responded.

Han ordered the interior ministry to "work closely with local governments to review measures on public action and response systems for emergency situations."

"The relevant ministries should prepare first to prevent damage caused by North Korea's provocations, safety accidents, and fires," Han said.

With calls for accountability growing over the Oct. 29 Halloween crowd crush that killed at least 156 people, Han again apologized for the tragedy.

"I feel a great responsibility for not sufficiently protecting the lives and safety of people," Han told the meeting.

The government will make its utmost efforts to identify the cause of the tragedy, hold those responsible to account and come up with measures to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, Han said. (Yonhap)

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