Park Won-soon

Last updated
Park Won-soon
Seoul Kimchi Making Sharing Festival 03.jpg
Mayor of Seoul
Assumed office
27 October 2011
Preceded by Oh Se-hoon
Personal details
Born (1956-03-26) 26 March 1956 (age 63)
Changnyeong, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Kang Nan-hee
Alma mater Dankook University
University of London
Korean name
Revised Romanization Bak Wonsun
McCune–Reischauer Pak Wŏnsun

Park Won-soon (Korean : 박원순; born 26 March 1956) is a South Korean lawyer who currently serves as the Mayor of Seoul. [1] He Nickname is Park Won-soong (Monkey Park). [2]


He received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2006.

Early life

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. [3] 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. [4] 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. [5] 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. [6]

Campaign for Mayor of Seoul

In the Seoul mayoral by-election on October 26, 2011, he 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. [7] 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. [7] [8]

Mayor of Seoul (2011–present)

He once suggested a friendly soccer match and an orchestra event between South Korea and North Korea. [9]

He praised the Japanese local self-government system during his disaster prevention training in Japan. [10]

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. [11] On February 23, 2012, Park joined the Democratic United Party.

On September 20, 2012, under the leadership of Park, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced its plan to promote a sharing vision through the Sharing City Seoul Project [12] . As a consequence of the successful implementation of the plan, Park is recognized in Korea and internationally as a leader of the Sharing City concept [13] [14] [15] .

On April 14, 2013, Line 9, part of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, announced a sudden fare increase. [16] 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. [17] 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.

On August 4, 2015, Park controversially referred to South Korea as a housefly that should sit on China's buttocks for economic progress. [18] [19] [20]

On June 13, 2018, Park was elected to his third and last term as Mayor of Seoul.


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  2. "박원순 "박원숭이도 괜찮아"…원숭이 합성사진 공개".
  3. 'Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation - Park Won Soon' Archived 2013-01-21 at
  4. 'The Beautiful Foundation - Who We Are' Archived 2012-03-17 at the Wayback Machine
  5. 'University of Minnesota, Institute for Advanced Study - 'Bringing Justice to an Unjustified Past in Korea
  6. 'About the Hope Institute' Archived 2012-08-14 at the Wayback Machine
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  10. Lee (이), Chung-weon (충원) (2012-02-10). 박원순 "일본식 작고 합리적 자치시스템 배워야". Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-02-10.
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  12. Seoul Metropolitan Government. ""The Sharing City Seoul" Project". SEOUL website. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  13. Johnson, Cat (June 3, 2014). "Sharing City Seoul: a Model for the World". Shareable. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  14. Gorenflo, Neal (November 18, 2016). "Seoul's Mayor Park Launches Korea-wide Sharing Cities Collaboration at Annual Sharing Festival". Shareable. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  15. McLaren, Duncan; Agyeman, Julian (2015). Sharing cities : a case for truly smart and sustainable cities. MIT Press. pp. 71–77. ISBN   9780262029728.
  16. "9호선 요금 500원 인상? 서울시 "공문 안떼면 과태료".
  17. "9호선쪽 "예정대로 요금 인상" 서울시 "9호선사장 해임 명령".