Park Won-soon, 64, was reported missing by his worried daughter (Picture: EPA/Getty) The mayor of the South Korean capital of Seoul has been found dead hours after a media report claimed an employee had filed a sexual harassment claim against him.
Police launched a major search for Park Won-soon after his daughter told them he had called her and dictated a ‘will-like message’ on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the city authorities said Mr Park cancelled his schedule for the day and failed to turn up to work.
The 64-year-old was found near a food hall in the hills in northern Seoul after hundreds of officers and firefighters using drones and dogs scoured the area for hours.
TV network SBS reported on Wednesday night that one of his secretaries accused him of a string of incidents such as unwanted physical contact dating back to 2017.
It was claimed she told police a number of other female employees at Seoul City Hall had suffered similar abuse, although the report did not cite a source.
Neither Seoul police nor the mayor’s office have confirmed the reports.
However officers told local media details of Mr Park’s final movements into the hills after reviewing CCTV and his mobile phone signal.
Mr Park was found after a massive search in the city’s northern area (Picture: Ed JONES / AFP) According to the Korea Herald, his daughter reported him missing to police earlier in the day after she was unable to get through to him, telling them he ‘had left home four to five hours ago after leaving words like a will, with his phone currently off’.
Mr Park began his career as a human rights lawyer, securing South Korea’s first ever sexual harassment conviction and campaigning for the rights of ‘comfort women’ who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War Two.
He was elected mayor of Seoul in 2011 and became the first holder of the office to win another two terms.
An outspoken critic of corruption, he was also tipped as a potential successor to the President Moon Jae-in for the Democratic Party ticket in 2022’s presidential elections.
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