Former lawmaker found dead on mountain

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Former lawmaker found dead on mountain

Chung Doo-un, a former conservative lawmaker and a key figure in President Lee Myung-bak’s 2007 election camp, was found dead Tuesday afternoon on a mountain near his home in Seodaemun District, western Seoul.

Police believe he died by suicide, though his exact motivations were undisclosed. Chung was 62.

Rep. Kim Yong-tae of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, who was close to Chung, said the former aide had suffered from depression.

Police said Chung left behind a suicide note but that his surviving family wished not to reveal it to the public. Kim told local media that the letter was about how sorry he was to his family and that “no other special” message was contained.

According to police, Chung’s chauffeur dropped him off near his home at around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. After leaving the vehicle, Chung walked toward Mount Bukhan. An hour later, a member of Chung’s family found Chung’s suicide note at their house and called 112. Police officers and firefighters discovered him at 4:30 p.m. on the mountain dead.

Officers said signs of murder were not found on Chung’s body and that an autopsy will not be performed.

Chung represented Seodaemun District in his three terms as a lawmaker. He first entered the National Assembly in 2004 as a member of the Grand National Party (GNP) and was elected for two more consecutive terms. The GNP later became today’s main opposition Liberty Korea Party.

Chung is best known for having been close to former President Lee when the right-leaning candidate of the GNP was elected in 2007 for a five-year term that began the following year.

But shortly after Lee began his term in February 2008, Chung fell out of favor with Lee, though exactly why is not known.

Lee and President Moon Jae-in sent condolence flowers to Chung’s mourning altar at Severance Hospital in Sinchon, western Seoul, on Wednesday. Chung’s funeral is set for Friday. Chung is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

BY PARK SA-RA, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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