|Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon pays tribute at the National Cemetery in Seoul on Thursday. (Lee Gil-dong/The Korea Herald)|
The mayor of Seoul vowed Thursday to make the capital of South Korea safer and more secure after winning a landslide victory in local elections.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon was re-elected Wednesday for his second term as the top governor of the capital city, home to nearly one-fifth of South Korea’s population of 49 million. He beat seven-term lawmaker Chung Mong-joon of the ruling Saenuri Party.
“I won’t become a leader who stands atop alone. I will gather together voices of Seoul citizens to make Seoul a really safe and decent city,” the longtime civic activist-turned-politician said in a meeting with reporters.
Park paid his respects at the Seoul National Cemetery and the memorial altar set up in Seoul Plaza for those killed in the deadly sinking of a ferry two months ago, before resuming his post-election duty as the mayor on Thursday.
“Thanks to citizens’ active cooperation, I have made (Seoul) a secure city citizens can depend upon, although my knowledge about the bureaucratic society was not enough for the past two years and eight months,” Park told city government staff members, who welcomed Park’s victory.
Park was first elected to the mayorship in a by-election in 2011 after former Mayor Oh Se-hoon resigned due to a controversy over a free school meal policy.
“Based upon the teamwork and the foundation prepared in the first term, I will push ahead new city administration,” Park said.
Park’s second term, which will last for four years, starts on July 1. (Yonhap)