C: 최광모

The mayor of Seoul has been found dead just hours after being reported missing.

Park Won-soon was reported missing by his daughter early on Thursday after she received a cryptic message from her father who then left the family home soon after.

Around seven hours later, following a search involving 600 police and volunteers, Mr. Park’s body was discovered in the popular tourist destination of Mount Bugak, just to the north of the sprawling South Korean capital.

At time of typing, it is understood no cause of death has yet been given and foul play has not been ruled out.

Mr. Park was serving his third term as the mayor of the city of 10 million, and was seen by some as an eventual candidate for the presidency of South Korea.

He was not, however, without his troubles, and in recent days one of his secretaries alleged the former mayor had been sexually harassing her since 2017, an allegation police in Seoul were reportedly investigating.

Mr. Park, 64, had long been championed as a supporter of women’s rights in a still largely patriarchal society.

A long-time lawyer before becoming mayor in 2011, Mr. Park was famous throughout the country for obtaining South Korea’s first conviction for sexual harassment, and later for public spats with former president Park Geun-hye, when he supported millions of South Koreans who demonstrated against her in 2017, before she was imprisoned for a range of offences including bribery.

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