Korea Seoul’s Mayor found dead, hours after he was reported missing

by Maruf Adedeji

The mayor of the South Korean capital, Seoul, has been found dead hours after he was reported missing.

The police confirmed the death of Mayor Park Won-soon on Thursday, 9 July, 2020.

According to a police official with knowledge of the case, Park was reported missing by his daughter on Thursday evening, sparking a massive search operation.

Park’s daughter had called the police on Thursday afternoon to report him missing, saying he had given her a “will-like” message before leaving home.

News reports say one of Park’s secretaries had lodged a complaint with police on Wednesday night over alleged sexual harassment.

Kim Ji-hyeong, a Seoul metropolitan government official, said Park did not come to work on Thursday for unspecified reasons and had cancelled all of his schedules, including a meeting with a presidential official at his Seoul City Hall office.

Park Won-soon’s body was found in hills in northern Seoul early on Thursday, more than seven hours after they launched a massive search for him.

The police officer on condition of anonymity said Park’s lifeless body was found near a traditional restaurant and banquet hall located in the hills.

About 150 officers, a drone and a police dog had been mobilised for Park’s search, according to police authority.

Park, 64, who served as a long-time civic activist and Seoul’s mayor since 2011, was seen as a likely hopeful for the liberals in the 2022 presidential elections in South Korea.

Seoul, a city of about 10 million people, has been a new epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea since the Asian country eased its strict social distancing rules in early May.

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