South Korea cancels concerts, government briefings after Halloween stampede tragedy

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As the death toll exceeds 150 following a stampede during Halloween celebrations in Seoul, South Korea is canceling events from government briefings to K-pop concerts.

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Sunday declared a period of national mourning that will run until November 5.

The Finance Ministry called off a planned press briefing with foreign media, while local officials canceled events including Halloween parties and the opening ceremony for one of the Korea’s largest sales festivals.

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A major K-pop event in Busan that was expected to draw about 40,000 people was also canceled, the organizer said.

Theme parks operated by Samsung C&T Corp. and Hotel Lotte Co. -- Everland in Yongin and Lotte World in Jamsil -- also canceled Halloween-related parades and firework displays scheduled throughout November.

SM Entertainment announced that the company’s Halloween party, which was to be broadcast online, will not go ahead. Starbucks Korea and some department stores halted promotions of Halloween-related products, according to Yonhap News.

The stampede occurred Saturday night in Seoul’s Itaewon district during an annual festival that draws tens of thousands of people. The accident happened at about 10:15 pm, fire authorities said, as a large number of people entered a narrow alley behind the Hamilton Hotel.

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