President Yoon on Friday joined other top officials – including the national police chief and the interior minister – who had apologised over the disaster.
“As a president who is responsible for the lives and safety of the people, I am deeply saddened and sorry,” he said.
“I know that our government and I…have a huge responsibility to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.”
SCRUTINY OF CROWD MANAGEMENT
Yoon – who is with the conservative People Power Party – has been battling record-low approval ratings since taking office in May, and his political opponents are now taking aim at his government over the Halloween crush.
A civic group linked to the main opposition party was set to hold candlelight vigils across the country on Saturday evening, including in Seoul, Busan, Gwangju and Jeju.
A group of young Koreans was expected to hold a separate commemoration in central Seoul.
“I can’t believe people of my age died just because they wanted to have some fun on Halloween,” said Park Tae-hoon, 29, one of the organisers of that rally and a member of the progressive Jinbo political party.
“It was only yesterday that the president apologised,” he told AFP, adding that the purpose of the march was to demand punishment for those responsible and measures to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy.