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K-pop to the rescue: Troubled Jamboree to wrap up with concertBy Kim Arin
Published : Aug. 11, 2023 - 16:56
Over 40,000 young scouts have gathered at a stadium in western Seoul for a K-pop concert, marking the conclusion of this year's World Scout Jamboree, which encountered difficulties due to a heat wave, a tropical storm and insufficient preparations.
The closing ceremony is set to commence at 5:30 p.m., before a K-Pop show from 7-9 p.m.
The Jamboree campground was abandoned as Typhoon Khanun approached the site, which had already struggled to cope with a scorching heat wave and insufficient amenities such as toilets, showers and water.
Reuniting the multitude of Jamboree participants -- who were strategically distributed across eight different provinces -- involved coordinating a fleet of around 1,400 tourist buses.
A citywide operation is underway to ensure the success of the concert, which was organized at the last minute to provide a good send-off to a jamboree that did not go to plan.
According to the Seoul metropolitan office, some of the roads leading to the stadium in Mapo-gu will be closed from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Traffic controls will be in place in the surrounding intersections during the same hours.
Hundreds of police officers will be stationed inside and outside the stadium for crowd management. Four first aid stations will be installed, to be attended by medical staff and firefighters. Ambulances will be on standby. Extra mobile toilets have been laid. The entire venue will be managed by cleaning personnel.
The concert is held as Khanun, a tropical storm that poured through the country over the past day, is exiting Seoul. The storm had forced scouts to evacuate from campsites, after record heatwaves caused many of them to fall ill earlier.
On top of the drastic weather conditions, poor sanitation and other issues had led contingents from the US and the UK to pull out of the jamboree earlier than planned.
Following the news of problems at the jamboree, Korean companies have offered to provide the scouts with gifts and amenities.
Earlier the same day, President Yoon Suk Yeol asked his Cabinet to see the young scouts are “taken care of” until the end, according to senior press secretary Kim Eun-hye.
As the jamboree comes to a close, parties are ramping up a blame game.
Rep. Yun Jae-ok, the ruling People Power Party’s floor leader, said in a leadership meeting Friday that accountability needs to be sought in the mismanagement of a global event.
The rival Democratic Party of Korea has accused the People Power Party and the Yoon administration in office of poor handling while the ruling party argued that much of the event’s preparations were overseen during the preceding Moon Jae-in administration.
On the finale concert, Rep. Sung Il-jong on the Assembly national defense committee has come under fire for suggesting boy act BTS, some of whose members are currently serving in the military, should be performing to entertain the scouts.
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