Seoul’s Mayor Has Reportedly Been Found Dead

A massive search effort was launched in northern Seoul, the last place Mayor Park’s cell phone signal was detected, after his daughter reported him missing.
Junhyup Kwon
Seoul, KR
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon. Photo By ED JONES / AFP

Update 07/09/2020 at 12:05pm: According to Yonhap News Agency and CNN, Park has been found dead. The news outlets cited police sources, but did not provide further details.

Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul and a potential South Korean presidential contender, has been reported missing and police are currently searching for him, an official confirmed to VICE News on Thursday.

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According to police, Park’s daughter filed a report saying that her father had left a bizarre “will-like” message before leaving his house on Thursday and hadn’t been reachable since as his mobile phone was turned off.

The last place the 64-year-old mayor’s phone signal was detected was around the Gilsangsa temple located in northern Seoul, Yonhap News Agency said. Some 770 police officers and rescue workers were searching for him in the area using drones and dogs.

Seoul mayor Park Won-soon

SEOUL'S MAYOR PARK WON-SOON (C) ARRIVES FOR THE LAST DAY OF THE WORLD CITIES SUMMIT IN MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA, ON JULY 12, 2019. Photo By JOAQUIN SARMIENTO / AFP

The city’s longest serving mayor and a member of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, Park was often mentioned as a leading candidate to succeed current President Moon Jae-in in the 2022 presidential election.

The former social activist and human rights lawyer has been mayor of Seoul since 2011 after being reelected twice in 2014 and 2018. Park has also been leading the country’s policies and measures against the coronavirus, emphasizing the importance of social distancing.

This is a developing story.