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(3rd LD) Police searching for Seoul mayor after missing report

Diplomacy 21:13 July 09, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with police search details; RECASTS lead; CHANGES first photo; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) -- Police said Thursday they are trying to locate Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, as he has remained missing for roughly three hours after a report was filed by his family.

Park's daughter filed a police report at around 5:17 p.m. that he "had left home four to five hours ago after leaving words like a will, with his phone currently off."

The mayor was found to have left his residence in the central Seoul ward of Jongno at around 10:44 a.m., wearing a black hat and carrying a black backpack.

His mobile phone signal was last accessed near Gilsang Temple in the northeastern Seoul ward of Seongbuk.

Police were in an all-out search for Park, mobilizing drones and police dogs. Rescue officials have also been dispatched to the search site.

Police are concentrating their search in the Seongbuk area, but Park remained unaccounted for as of 8:20 p.m.

This file photo shows Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon. (Yonhap)

The city government said the mayor did not show up for work during the day because of health issues.

Earlier, the government said he canceled his entire schedule for the day, including a meeting that was to be held at his office at 4:40 p.m., due to "inevitable circumstances."

A city official said the municipal government is looking into the details.

A police barricade is set up around the Seoul mayor's official residence in the central Seoul ward of Jongno on July 9, 2020. (Yonhap)

Some have raised the possibility that his disappearance could be related to an alleged sexual assault case.

A former secretary who worked at his office is believed to have recently filed a criminal complaint against Park.

Police declined to confirm any information regarding the case.

Rescue officials prepare to search for Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon at Seongbuk ward after he was reported missing on July 9, 2020. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr

mlee@yna.co.kr
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