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Seoul mayor found dead by South Korean police

by ace

South Korean police confirmed on Thursday that they had found the body of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, who had disappeared after reports of sexual harassment were reported by local media.

A police spokesman explained that Park, 64, was found on Mount Bukak in Jogno-gu district, north of the South Korean capital. The place is close to where he was last seen, at 10:53 am (local time; 10:53 pm on Wednesday 8 in Brasilia), after leaving home.

The cause of death has not yet been identified.

The mayor’s daughter, Park Da-hee, reported the disappearance of Park Won-soon around 5:17 pm (local time, 5:17 am Brasília) on Thursday, 9, saying that her father “had left the house four or five hours ago, after leaving a letter that resembles a will, and that his phone was turned off ”, informed the Yonhap agency. Soon after, nearly 600 police and firefighters, along with three rescue dogs, were sent to look for the mayor.

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On the day of the disappearance, SBS, a major South Korean broadcaster, reported that a Park’s secretary had made a complaint to the Seoul police, allegedly involving sexual harassment. The report, which did not quote a source, said the secretary said other employees at Seoul City Hall had also suffered similar harassment.

The #MeToo movement, which exploded in the United States in 2018, also hit South Korea, encouraging more women to report. In April, the mayor of the country’s second largest city, Busan, resigned after admitting sexual misconduct and being accused of harassing an employee.

Before becoming mayor, Park was a human rights lawyer focused on progressive issues, including women’s rights. Among their agendas were South Korean “women of comfort” – women and children who became sex slaves to Japanese soldiers during their rule over the Koreas.

Mayor of Seoul since 2011, Park was seen as a hope for liberals in the 2022 presidential election. An outsider’s crushing victory over the ruling party a decade ago sparked a public frenzy, and his unexpected arrival at the country’s most powerful city hall. it was seen as a sign that the South Koreans were tired of traditional politics.

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He was serving his third consecutive term (the first was as an independent candidate before joining the now Liberal Democratic Party in 2012) and, as a former pro-democracy and human rights activist, he was an important figure on the South Korean political scene.

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(With EFE)

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