Outspoken mayor of South Korea's capital found dead after '#MeToo allegations' - GulfToday

Outspoken mayor of South Korea's capital found dead after '#MeToo allegations'


Park Won-soon speaks during an event at Seoul City Hall in Seoul, South Korea. File / Reuters

Seoul's outspoken mayor Park Won-soon, long seen as a potential South Korean presidential candidate, was found dead early on Friday, police said. He was 64.

A former Seoul City employee filed a police complaint — allegedly involving sexual harassment — against him on Wednesday.

Park's body was found on a mountain in northern Seoul, police said, after a search by hundreds of officers.

SeoulMayorBodyPolice officers carry the body of Park Won-soon, which was found during a search operation in Seoul. AFP

Emergency personnel brought his remains down a path in the early hours of the morning, AFP journalists on site saw, before they were taken to hospital, where women wailed as they arrived.

Police said no suicide note was found at the scene, but Yonhap news agency reported that he was "presumed to have taken his own life."

If Park does prove to have killed himself he would be the highest-profile South Korean politician to do so since former president Roh Moo-hyun, who jumped off a cliff in 2009 after being questioned over corruption allegations involving family members.

Park's daughter reported him missing on Thursday afternoon, saying her father had been unreachable for several hours, police said.

He left a message that sounded like "last words" and his phone had been turned off, she told police.

SeoulMediaMedia and spectators gather outside the Seoul National University Hospital, following unconfirmed reports that Park Won-soon was taken there. AFP

A heavyweight figure in the ruling centre-left Democratic party, Park ran South Korea's sprawling capital — home to almost a fifth of the national population -- for nearly a decade.

He was consistently spoken of as a potential candidate in the race to succeed President Moon Jae-in, and did not deny ambitions on that front when asked by AFP earlier this year.

Park had a similar background to Moon as a student activist in the days of South Korea's military dictatorship and later a human rights lawyer.

He was kicked out of Seoul National University in 1975, barely a month after entering the prestigious school, for taking part in a rally against then president Park Chung-hee, and jailed for four months.
Agence France-Presse

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