Seoul mayor found dead after he left a message ‘like a will’
SEOUL (SOUTH KOREA) – Police said on Friday that longtime Seoul City Mayor Park Won-soon was found dead after his daughter reported him missing saying he had left a message “like a will”.
After a search involving hundreds of police, the mayor’s body was found at Mt Bugak in northern Seoul around midnight. It was there that his phone signal had last been detected, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.
However, the cause of his death was not known yet. Police official Choi Ik-soo told reporters at a televised briefing they found no signs of foul play although a detailed investigation would be needed.
The Yonhap news agency added that a former secretary of Park had filed a complaint on Wednesday over alleged incidents of sexual harassment.
Choi said an investigation was ongoing after a criminal complaint had been lodged against Park.
Park’s daughter reported him missing and said his phone was off and that he had left a message “like a will”, according to Yonhap.
Park was one of South Korea’s most influential politicians and played a prominent role in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
His body was found after hours-long night search in one of the most mountainous parts of Seoul, involving hundreds of police using drones and dogs.
Park left the mayor’s official residence at around 10.40 am on Thursday, wearing a black hat and a backpack. He left after having cancelled policy meetings scheduled for the day, according to multiple local reports.
CAMPAIGNER FOR WOMEN’S CAUSES
He was a prominent human rights activist and lawyer, and has serving as Park the mayor of Seoul since 2011, pursuing many policies promoting gender equality.
As a lawyer in the 1990s, he won one of South Korea’s earliest cases on sexual harassment. He strongly advocated for the cause of “comfort women,” those who were subjected to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels before and during World War Two, when Japan occupied Korea.
Park was also in praise of women for their courage after a series of accusations against powerful politicians and policymakers of sexual wrongdoings amid the #MeToo movement in 2018.
He was at the forefront during massive candlelight demonstrations that helped lead to the ousting of former President Park Geun-hye in 2017.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.