South Korea: Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon found dead after going missing

Seoul police have said that they found Mayor Park Won-soon’s body near the location where he had last used his cell phone. A frantic night-time search had been launched after his daughter reported him missing.

Police said in the early hours of Friday local time that they had located Park Won-soon’s body in Sungbuk-dong, a district in northern Seoul, the last location his cell phone had registered before being turned off.

A major police search operation lasting around seven hours had focused on that area.

His daughter had raise the alarm with police earlier in the day, saying that her father had left a “will-like” message and left the house without returning.

Police searched into the night for the missing mayor

Park left the mayor’s residence at about 10:40 a.m. local time (0140 GMT), wearing a black hat and a backpack. Local reports indicated that he canceled a policy meeting scheduled for Thursday morning.

An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Kim Ji-hyeong, told AP that Park did not show up for work on Thursday.

Human rights lawyer turned mayor

Park was elected mayor of the sprawling capital city in 2011 and voted into his third and final term in June 2019.

The 64-year-old was a longtime civic activist and human rights lawyer, known for criticizing South Korea’s growing social and economic inequalities.

Park was a member of President Moon Jae-in’s liberal Democratic Party and had been touted for a run at becoming South Korea’s president in the country’s next nationwide elections in 2022.

The mayor’s residence in Seoul was also cordoned off with officers posted on site

DW / Balkantimes.press

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