Park Won-soon

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Park Won-soon
Park won-soon crop.png
Mayor of Seoul
Assumed office
27 October 2011
Preceded by Oh Se-hoon
Personal details
Born (1956-03-26) 26 March 1956 (age 61)
Changnyeong, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kang Nan-hee
Children 2
Alma mater Dankook University
University of London
Korean name
Revised Romanization Bak Wonsun
McCune–Reischauer Pak Wŏnsun

Park Won-soon (born 26 March 1956) is a South Korean lawyer who currently serves as the Mayor of Seoul, South Korea[1]

Early life[edit]

Prior to his election and entrance into politics, Park has had a thirty-year history as a social justice and human rights activist dating to his time at Seoul National University in the 1970s when he was expelled for protesting the policies of President Park Chung-hee and imprisoned for four months.[2] In 1994, he was a principal founder of the nonprofit watchdog organization People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy which monitors government regulatory practices and fights political corruption. In 2002, Park stepped down from PSPD to run The Beautiful Foundation, a philanthropic group that promotes volunteerism and community service and addresses issues of income inequality.[3] Beginning in 2005, Park served as part of South Korea's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the history of human rights violations in Korean history from Japan's rule of Korea in 1910 up until the end of Authoritarian Rule in Korea with the election of President Kim Young-sam in 1993.[4] In 2006, as an offshoot of The Beautiful Foundation, he founded the Hope Institute, a think tank designed to promote solutions arising from grass roots suggestions for social, educational, environmental, and political problems.[5]

Campaign for Seoul Mayor[edit]

Elected as an independent candidate with the support of the Democratic Party and Democratic Labor Party, Park's victory is seen as a blow in particular to the Grand National Party and the prospective presidential candidacy of Park Geun-hye, who had publicly supported Park Won-soon's opponent Na Kyung-won, and a triumph for the independent Ahn Cheol-Soo, whose support he received.[6] However, the inability of the Democratic Party to present its own candidate, and Park's refusal to join it after he had received its endorsement, has served to present Park as a candidate independent of the interests of both established parties.[6][7]

Seoul Mayor (2011 - present)[edit]

He once suggested a friendly soccer match and an orchestra event between South Korea and North Korea.[8]

He praised the Japanese local self-government system during his disaster prevention training in Japan.[9]

Early in 2012, Park was accused of illegally manipulating the army draft health checkup to have his son sent to a favorable post. However, after his son completed a public health checkup, Park and his son were declared innocent and received apologies from his accusers. Park has since said that he would forgive the accusers.[10] On February 23, 2012, Park joined the Democratic United Party.

On April 14, 2013, Line 9, part of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, announced a sudden fare increase.[11] But Park objected to the fare being raised without negotiation, and warned that if the corporation proceeded, Seoul would take over management of the corporation.[12] Finally, Line 9 released an apology to the residents of Seoul.

On June 4, 2014, Park was elected to his second term as Mayor of Seoul.



External links[edit]