The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it was canvassing Sungbuk-dong, a district in northern Seoul, where Mayor Park Won-soon’s phone signal was last detected, Reuters reported.
His daughter, who reported him missing at 5:17 p.m. local time, said his phone was off, officials said.
She told police her father left “a will-like” message before leaving their home a few hours earlier — but she didn’t explain the contents of the message, a police official said.
About 150 officers, a drone and a canine have been mobilized for Park’s search, according to police.
Government official Kim Ji-hyeong confirmed that Park did not show up for work Thursday because of unspecified reasons and canceled all his schedules.
Park — a longtime civic activist and human rights lawyer who has been the mayor of since 2011 — is seen as a potential presidential hopeful for the liberals during the 2022 presidential elections.
He had established himself as a fierce opponent of former conservative President Park Geun-hye and backed the millions of people who flooded city streets in late 2016 and 2017, calling for her ouster amid a corruption scandal.
Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office in 2017, is serving a long prison term on bribery and other charges.
Seoul, a city with 10 million people, has been a new epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea, which relaxed its strict social distancing rules in early May.
With Post wires