Seoul mayor reported missing, search launched

Seoul mayor reported missing, search launched
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The mayor of Seoul, South Korea, was reported missing on Thursday, leading to a large-scale search.

Park Won-soon was reported missing after his daughter said he had left her a message that sounded like a will, police officials told The Associated Press. 

About 300 to 400 officers and a drone were involved in the search, which centered near a small hill where the mayor’s cellphone signal was last recorded before it was turned off, police said.


His daughter contacted police after being unable to reach her father, saying the verbal message she received from him four to five hours earlier was “will-like.” Park’s daughter did not detail the contents of the message, a Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency officer in charge of the search told the AP.

Park’s daughter reported the mayor missing at about 5 p.m. local time, a police official familiar with the case told CNN

Kim Ji-hyeong, a Seoul Metropolitan Government official, told the news outlet that the mayor did not show up for work Thursday and had canceled all events on his calendar, including a scheduled meeting with a presidential official.

The reason for the mayor’s disappearance was unclear, but the Seoul-based SBS television network reported one of his secretaries had reported an alleged sexual harassment complaint Wednesday night. 

The network’s report, which didn’t cite a source, said the secretary informed police that other city female employees were allegedly sexually harassed by Park.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and Park’s office told the AP they could not confirm the reports. 

Park, who was first elected in 2011, became the first mayor of South Korea's capital to be elected for a third term in June 2018 and has been considered a possible presidential candidate for the liberal Democratic Party for the 2022 election.