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Police panned in performance review over Itaewon response

The Korean National Police Agency emblem (Yonhap)
The Korean National Police Agency emblem (Yonhap)

The Korean National Police Agency received the lowest "C" rating in the government's annual performance evaluation over its response to the Itaewon crowd crush that claimed 159 lives in October 2022, the report showed Tuesday.

"The lack of measures to prevent the Itaewon crowd crush and the response to address it was why we came up with the rating," Paek Il-hyun, deputy minister for government performance evaluation at the Office for Government Policy Coordination, told reporters in a briefing Monday at the Government Complex Sejong ahead of the report's release.

"Failure to reflect on a slew of criticism has undermined the public trust toward the police agency."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior and Safety, which bereaved families and the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea blame for the disaster, was given a "B." The ministry's efforts in setting up digital infrastructure and restructuring to streamline efficiency offset its "insufficient" disaster safety management response, Paek said.

Interior Minister Lee Sang-min is facing an impeachment as opposition parties on Monday filed a motion to dismiss him for negligence in dealing with the disaster.

The police agency was among eight out of the 45 central government bodies, including ministries, agencies and commissions, to have received the "C" rating in the annual evaluation. The agency got a "B" in last year's report card.

By Son Ji-hyoung (
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Korea Herald daum