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S. Korea Mourns Death Of Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon

Reporter Reporter Julie Sohn ㅣ 2020-07-10 18:30

A mourner pays tribute at a memorial altar for late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon at Seoul National University Hospital.
A mourner pays tribute at a memorial altar for late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon at Seoul National University Hospital.
[Anchor]

Citizens in Seoul and across the nation are still reeling from the news that the mayor of the capital city, Park Won-soon, was found dead Friday in an apparent suicide.

A five-day funeral is being held for Park at Seoul National University Hospital, where politicians, civic activists and other dignitaries are mourning him and paying their last respects.

It was revealed earlier in the day that Park left behind a note saying he was sorry to all people.

With more on this story, Julie Sohn joins me in the studio.

Julie, thanks for being here.

The situation surrounding Park has been unfolding since yesterday afternoon when he was reported missing.

Police found his body around midnight.

With regard to his death, have police concluded it was suicide?

[Reporter]

Police have launched a probe to determine the exact cause of Park's death.

Police said earlier there were no signs of foul play when they found his body, but they plan to look into his mobile phone history and itinerary to identify anything that appears suspicious.

They will decide whether to conduct an autopsy after consulting his bereaved family.

[Anchor]

Earlier today, the police found a note left by Park. What was written in that note?

[Reporter]

City authorities unveiled a note Park left at his residence.

It said, "I feel sorry to all people. I thank everyone who has been with me in my life. I am sorry to my family for only causing them pain."

It continued with a request his remains be cremated and scattered at his parents graves.

[Anchor]

The circumstances around Park's abrupt death are still not clear, but it came a day after one of his former secretaries filed a criminal complaint against him.

Tell us about this.

[Reporter]

His former secretary filed a complaint Wednesday with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, reportedly claiming she received unwanted "physical contact" and "inappropriate" messages from the mayor.

In accordance with the law, the case was automatically terminated upon the mayor's death.

[Anchor]

We know Park was regarded as a presidential hopeful for the ruling Democratic Party in the 2022 election.

He was the longest-serving mayor for the country's biggest city.

[Reporter]

Park leaves behind a legacy of social activism, having been a human rights lawyer and civic activist before he was elected in a 2011 by-election as mayor of Seoul.

City authorities have pledged to carry on with local affairs in respect of Park.

Seoul's Vice Mayor for Administrative Affairs Seo Jeong-hyup held an emergency press conference and said they will carry out city governance in line with Park's values which prioritized stability and welfare.

Seo will serve as the city's acting mayor until a new mayor is elected in a by-election scheduled for April 2021.

[Anchor]

Thank you, Julie, for that report.


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