Mayor of Seoul Park Won Soon Found Deceased After Disappearance Post Sexual Harassment Allegations From Secretary

This is a huge news story in South Korea and sometimes reality as as dramatic as fiction. The current Mayor of Seoul Park Won Soon was found dead today after what was a wild series of events. His daughter reported him missing after he left what she described as a voicemail message that sounded like a will. Over 600 police officers with dogs and drones were dispatched to the area where his cell phone was tracked. His body was eventually located near Sukjoengmun in the northern part of Seoul city. In recent days he was accused by his secretary of sexual harassment going back to 2017, with him sending messages and pictures to her via SNS. He just won re-election to a third term, the first time for any Seoul mayor, and had always run as a human rights activist lawyer turned politician for the liberal leaning party. He was seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2022. Obviously with his death the sexual harassment allegations will not be adjudicated in a court of law but his decision to take the final way out will clearly have cascading personal and political ramnifications.


Mayor of Seoul Park Won Soon Found Deceased After Disappearance Post Sexual Harassment Allegations From Secretary — 8 Comments

      • Yh why do people always have to bring politics into things these days? Sexual harassers come from all walks of life and ethnicities. Its not something solely perpetrated by leftists. I mean look at the perverted Trump with a string of harassment claims and dodgy behaviour towards his own daughter, yet its ‘always the leftists’. Sigh…

  1. Oh my….as a non-Korean, I thought suicide was prevalent among those in the Korean entertainment industry because of the prevalence of such news in the recent and past years. Now this news about the mayor of probably the most prominent city in Korea…

    • It’s not altogether uncharacteristic of Koreans to commit suicide rather than face the judicial system. I don’t think it’s a personal thing wherein a person due to his/her own shame and fear would rather die than take a risk of being found guilty. Rather, it seems more “communal”. What I mean is that yes, guilty verdict would obviously be shameful but a court case alone will absolutely bring an immense amount of shame and loss of face; but not ONLY to the individual alone but to everyone associated with him/her (most importantly his/her family but also his/her political party, for example). And Korea is not as individualistic a society as Western societies are so individuals still bear a great responsibility for their families – and vice versa.

      This does lead to cases where people aim to minimize the shame their families & other associations have to face by committing a suicide.

      One of the most high profile cases of president Roh Moo-hyun who got entangled into bribery allegations and he would have had to got to court. Instead, he jumped of a building. (His brother Roh Gun-pyeong was convicted in relation to the whole mess and had to serve some time. I would guess, though, that the former president Roh was the one to commit suicide because, as the former president and as a person who had spoken VERY loudly against corruption, his fall from grace was much worse than his brothers. Suicide to avoid court is not, after all, a rule. While it happens more often than in the West, most high profile defendants do not kill themselves.)

  2. NOT so surprising. Korean drama + movies have often portrayed the behind the scenes sleaze and unscrupulousness of ambitious politicians etc. Despite the sterling ethical fronts, and family man images.

    These productions get their fodder from somewhere, it ain’t all imagination.

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