Scam-busting Mayor in Disguise Strikes Soft-chord with Netizens

In disguise in the market

Just a week after Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon won the hearts of netizens for his hard-line attitude towards the price-hike of Line 9, Park has hit the headlines again, for all the right reasons. In recent months, Korea has seen an sharp increase in the number of scam related complaints lodged by tourists (mainly Japanese and Chinese). Articles in both English and Korean highlighting the problem have emerged, and hidden camera reports are now being featured on the evening news reports. One of the country’s main broadcasters SBS even ran a 3-part program entitled ‘Rip-off Korea’ (‘바가지 코리아’). With all this said, Mayor Park has decided to take matters in his own hands by posing as a Japanese tourist trying to get scammed himself. Unfortunately for our favorite incognito Mayor, rather than busting the the rip-off merchants, it would seem that in the end he was seoul-ed out by the scammers. Netizens were in their thousands praising Park’s hands-on resolution to tackle the problem.

From Daum:

Mayor Park Won-soon disguised as a Japanese tourist tried to hail a ‘call-van’ but…

Park Won-soon, the Mayor of Seoul, visited a market in downtown Seoul disguised as a Japanese.

At 4PM on the 2nd of May, Park, along with his daughter, posed as Japanese tourists visiting the country, making an appearance in Jung-gu’s Nandaemun Market. His aides and journalists were also embarrassed of Park’s “Guerilla shopping trip” to the market, whose unsuspecting outfit sported a fishing hat and black rimmed glasses.

Park said the reason for him to go out in disguise was because of the rip-off prices foreigners face. But thanks to conscientious market traders Park could not experience these rip-off charges at first hand and was turned away. His master plan of camouflagerie was a flop.

Firstly, Park wanted to hail a “call-van” in Dongdaemun Market in order to investigate this so-called “call-van rip-off rate”. He waited for about a dozen minutes for a call-van, but was not able to get on one, so in the end just hailed a regular taxi. But the taxi driver only charged him the correct price.

His daughter too, who was dressed up as Omura Hitomi (aged 26), went to Nandaemun Market deciding to buy some cosmetics and a bag speaking in Japanese. Hitomi hinted that “the cosmetics were ok, but the bag, priced at 65 000 won ($65) was slightly expensive”. However Mayor Park seemed to be at ease. He said “it is a relief that the cosmetics and ginseng were sold at a fixed price”.

Park, who finished his shopping trip, returned to Seoul’s Jung-gu Myeongdong Art Theatre back into his original outfit, without anyone noticing. He removed his fishing hat exposing his head drenched in sweat.

He said the reason to go out in camouflage was that “it is often reported in the media that there are many rip-off charged [with tourists], so I thought I should go out and check it out for myself”, while adding that “it was my attempt to bust those merchants’ rip-off rates on the spot, but this did not happen.” Even so, he said that his sudden “guerrilla shopping trip” was a success.

In the meanwhile, because Park’s aides and journalists flocked to whatever spot he went to, he feared his identity would be revealed by other journalists, and after asking for their understanding held a separate news conference in front of the Myeongdong Art Theatre.

Mayor Park Won-soon in camouflage

Comments from Daum:


You really really did well choosing Park Won-soon.. He’s so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^^ Let’s try and pick a great guy like this as our President come December. And not another bird-brain bastard ke ke ke ke


He’s the secret royal inspector! he he He is a politician who knows how to directly divert his attention to both the livelihoods of the people and evicting corrupt officials. Mr Park, nowadays you are the only good thing to come out on the news. [History: A secret inspector was an official in disguise who was sent out by the king during the Joseon Dynasty, in order to gather information on the circumstances of the people and on local politics.]


At first, I personally thought this guy had not formally been verified and what not, but from what I’ve noticed, I really feel he does his work for the people, especially in dealing with Line 9 uncompromisingly, and for this, I once again really want to applaud him. He are a quick-thinking individual.


He’s a politician who quickly puts his words into practice!!! Both you rat and you fucking stupid conservatives from the Shit-nuri Party should take learn a lesson from this!!! Park Won-soon, live long and healthy!!!!!


It just looks like everything he does is good


That’s so cool. He is the human face of politics.


Hey Busan, Pohang, Gangwon-do!!!!!!!! You guys watching?… Oh and Daegu!!!!!! This is how to vote in elections!


Wow you guys properly selected your Mayor of Seoul.


Hey Oh Se-hoon [former Mayor of Seoul], did you see? …………. [double play on words, first being that the number 5 is pronounced ‘oh’ in Korean, and the comment’s spelling is similar to Se Hoon-a, from the boyband EXO]


Seriously, he so so cool ㅠㅜ


Dare I say but…… he’s so cute…….ke


Just wonderful. He’d make a great president….


I’m envious of Seoulites ^_^


I’m from Gyeonggi Province.. and I’m jealous…ㅠ,ㅠ


It seems you really did great in picking a mayor for Seoul~


Ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke Just as I expected! I hope we vote for him again next time round


It’s just that you guys did a good job in picking a mayor.. He is the only happy news I see everyday…


Park Won-soon, the secret royal inspector


Of course, if you go to experience the place at first hand, you can directly sense the reality of the place, isn’t it?.. Really wonderful guy.


You citizens of Seoul make me so happy.. ㅠ,ㅠ Ah~ jealous!!


Isn’t this how politics should be? I wish. He is 100 times better than mb.


Our mayor is so cute ke ke ke ke ke

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