Seoul’s outspoken mayor Park Gained-soon, lengthy seen as a possible South Korean presidential candidate, was discovered useless, police mentioned on Thursday. He was 64.
A former Seoul Metropolis worker filed a police grievance — allegedly involving sexual harassment — in opposition to him on Wednesday.
Park’s physique was discovered on a mountain in northern Seoul, police mentioned, hours after lots of of officers began trying to find him.
Search and rescue groups put together to go looking Waryong park for Seoul mayor Park Gained-soon, who was final seen there and was reported lacking earlier within the day, in Seoul. — AFP
If Park does show to have killed himself he can be the highest-profile South Korean politician to take action since former president Roh Moo-hyun, who jumped off a cliff in 2009 after being questioned over corruption allegations involving members of the family.
Park’s daughter reported him lacking on Thursday afternoon, saying her father had been unreachable for a number of hours, police mentioned.
He left a message that appeared like “last words” and his cellphone had been turned off, she informed police.
A heavyweight determine within the ruling centre-left Democratic occasion, Park ran South Korea’s sprawling capital — dwelling to virtually a fifth of the nationwide inhabitants — for almost a decade.
He has persistently been spoken of as a possible candidate within the race to succeed President Moon Jae-in, and didn’t deny ambitions on that entrance when requested by AFP earlier this yr.
Park had the same background to Moon as a pupil activist within the days of South Korea’s navy dictatorship and later a human rights lawyer.
He was kicked out of Seoul Nationwide College in 1975, barely a month after coming into the distinguished faculty, for participating in a rally in opposition to then-president Park Chung-hee, and jailed for 4 months.
Jailhouse to courthouse
However he described his time in jail as a cheerful and productive interval that allowed him to formulate his life targets.
After finishing his research, Park went into legislation and defended many political activists within the 1980s and 1990s.
He helped launch the Individuals’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, an influential NGO pushing to reform the conglomerates that dominate South Korean enterprise.
Park additionally based the Stunning Basis — a philanthropic group that promotes volunteerism and neighborhood service — within the hopes of giving individuals the flexibility “to feel wonderful and beautiful” by donating to its trigger.
It grew into one of many largest non-profit organisations in South Korea and launched the Stunning Shops, a sequence of charity retailers modelled after Britain’s Oxfam retailers.
Bespectacled and soft-featured, Park was thought of a political novice when he first entered the Seoul mayoral race as an unbiased candidate in 2011 however he defeated Na Kyung-won, probably the most distinguished feminine lawmaker for the then ruling conservative occasion.
He subsequently joined the Democratic occasion and made a reputation for himself as a three-term mayor of the South Korean capital — his remaining victory coming in a 2018 landslide when he took greater than 50 per cent of the vote.
Throughout his marketing campaign, Park — recognized for his hardworking and down-to-earth character — pledged to create a cleaner metropolis that ensured gender equality, and to result in peace between North and South Korea.
On his official Twitter account, Park launched himself as a “Social Designer”, saying: “These days, I … dream of creating Seoul that puts the people first. Please join me in this dream.”
However he additionally earned a status as a workaholic boss, with reviews saying a handful of civil servants on the Seoul metropolis authorities had dedicated suicide on account of work-related stress underneath him.
Earlier this week he courted controversy by being one among a number of senior Democratic occasion politicians to attend the funeral of the mom of Ahn Hee-jung, a former provincial governor convicted of sexual offences final yr.