- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 12, 2020

The funeral of late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon will be webcast in an effort to comply with South Korea’s social distancing mandate and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mr. Park, who was widely regarded as one of South Korea’s most powerful political figures and a contender for the nation’s presidency in 2022, was found dead in a wooded area in his home city, hours after his daughter reported him missing on Thursday.

The cause of death was still under investigation, but South Korean said Mr. Park, 64, may have killed himself to avoid the shame of an emerging sexual harassment scandal.

Seoul-based SBS television network said last week that one of Mr. Park’s secretaries lodged a complaint with police Wednesday night about alleged sexual harassment, including unwanted physical contact, that began in 2017.

The report did not name a source but said the secretary told police investigators that an unspecified number of other female employees at Seoul City Hall had reported similar experiences with Mr. Park.

Mr. Park’s body will be transferred to Seoul’s City Hall on Monday, Yonhap news reported, citing the co-head of the funeral preparation panel.

“It will take place online in line with the principle of cooperating with the COVID-19 control efforts and be held in a simple manner,” Rep. Park Hong-keun of the ruling Democratic Party and co-head of the funeral preparation panel told reporters.

About 100 people, including family and city officials, will be permitted to attend the ceremony in person, while the public will be encouraged to watch online.

Over 640,000 people have laid virtual flowers in an online memorial, city officials said.

Mr. Park, a member of the liberal Democratic Party, attracted considerable notice as the three-term mayor of the capital, a city of 25 million people. He won global attention for his environmentally friendly efforts in Seoul, which has become an emergent technology startup hub for the fast-growing East Asian market.

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