World leaders have been sending condolences and messages of support to South Korea after an apparent crowd surge killed at least 149 people in the Itaewon district of Seoul during Halloween celebrations.
Philip Seth Goldberg, United States ambassador to South Korea since 2022, tweeted in both English and Korean: “I’m devastated by the tragic loss of life in Itaewon last night. Please know my thoughts, and those of our team at US Embassy Seoul, are with the Korean people and especially the loved ones of those who perished, as well as the many injured in this catastrophic incident.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”
“France is by your side,” President Emmanuel Macron said, tweeting in French and Korean.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted: “The tragic events in Seoul come as a shock to all of us. Our thoughts are with the numerous victims and their families. This is a sad day for South Korea. Germany stands by their side.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “On behalf of Canadians, I’m sending my deepest condolences to the people of South Korea today, following a deadly stampede in Seoul. I’m thinking of everyone affected by this tragedy, and wishing a fast and full recovery to those who were injured.”
The Australian government also sent messages of support.
“Our sincere condolences for all affected by this terrible tragedy,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted.
Australia’s embassy in Seoul said it was “urgently making enquiries” with local authorities to determine if any Australians were involved.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said: “Deeply saddened by the terrible events in central Seoul. What was meant to be a celebration turned into a tragedy with so many young casualties. We are with the people of the Republic of Korea at this difficult moment.”