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Yoon, officials strongly condemn Hamas killings as act of terrorismBy Yonhap
Published : Oct. 11, 2023 - 21:33
President Yoon Suk Yeol and top government officials "strongly condemned" Wednesday the Hamas militant group's killing of civilians and hostage-taking in Israel as an act of terrorism in clear violation of international humanitarian law, the presidential office said.
The condemnation came during an emergency meeting called by Yoon to discuss the economic and security impact of the escalating war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group. In attendance were key national security and economic officials, including Foreign Minister Park Jin, Defense Minister Shin Won-sik, Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu and National Intelligence Service Director Kim Kyou-hyun.
"The attendees viewed the Hamas militant group's indiscriminate killing of civilians and hostage-taking as an act of terrorism in clear violation of international humanitarian law, and strongly condemned this," the presidential office said in a press release following the meeting at the office.
"The government decided to work closely with the international community for a swift resolution of the situation and the establishment of peace," it added.
The attendees noted the growing uncertainties surrounding the conflict, and decided to continue to keep a close eye on volatility in the domestic real economy and financial markets in connection with changes in global oil prices and exchange rates.
Yoon warned that the complex, interdependent nature of the modern world can cause even a small external shock to simultaneously push national security and the economy into a crisis, and instructed officials to closely monitor and respond to security and economic developments at home and abroad with a high degree of alertness.
Additionally, Yoon checked the safety of South Korean nationals remaining in Israel and the Palestinian regions, as well as the situation with returning short-term visitors, while ordering thorough safety measures for them.
In his opening remarks, Yoon noted the Israel-Hamas conflict is "turning into a full-scale war."
"Thousands of casualties have occurred already," he said. "We cannot rule out the possibility of an escalation, as the positions and interests of many countries are sharply intertwined."
Yoon added that coupled with the war in Ukraine, the latest conflict could increase the vulnerability of the international community in responding to various crises, such as energy security and supply chain issues.
"We must bear in mind that in the event we miss the golden time due to our failure to preemptively manage the risks, the harm could wholly be passed on to the people," he said. "I ask all relevant ministries to thoroughly prepare, based on today's discussions, so that our people are not in the least bit harmed or in danger, from an economic and security standpoint."
Yoon issued similar instructions during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, saying the government should remain alert and respond closely to the external uncertainties surrounding the conflict, while thoroughly preparing safety measures for South Korean residents and travelers in Israel. (Yonhap)
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