- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2020

Police authorities in Seoul say they have discovered the body of missing Mayor Park Won-soon, who disappeared late Thursday afternoon.

The mayor of the South Korean capital went missing around 5 p.m. local time Thursday, prompting a massive police search around the city’s Sungbuk neighborhood where his cellphone signal was last detected.

Officials now say Mr. Park’s body was found in the hills of northern Seoul on Friday morning, seven hours after police launched their widespread search.

Mr. Park’s daughter said her father had left a concerning “will-like” voice message four to five hours before his disappearance. It remains unclear what the contents of the message were, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency officer who is in charge of the search.

Up to 400 police officers were dispatched after his daughter called the police and said she could not reach her father. His phone appears to have since died or been turned off.

A Seoul government official told The Associated Press that Mr. Park had not shown up for work and canceled all of his scheduled work appointments, including a meeting with a presidential official, without providing his office a reason.

Mr. Park was elected mayor in 2011 in a landslide victory with little prior political experience, a sign that his constituents were seeking a shakeup from historic politics.

The 64-year-old activist and human rights lawyer had been seen as a possible liberal candidate in the country’s 2022 presidential election.

The reason for Mr. Park’s disappearance and death remains unclear.

This story is based on wire reports.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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