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.