On October 25, 2013, Mr. Lee Seon Hyeong hung a signboard on his neck on the last day of his one-man protest in front of the new Seoul City Hall. The signboard said, “Mayor Park Won Soon, thank you for helping us restart a new life. Please see to it that no one is forced to leave where he lives under the pretext of urban planning.”
Mr. Lee ran a small store in Bugahyeon New Town, Seodaemun-gu. In November 2011, he was forced to close his store due to new construction as part of urban planning; he started a one-man protest during lunch break in front of the new Seoul City Hall.
Upon my inauguration as Mayor of Seoul in October 2011, I established the Office of Conflict Settlement directly reporting to the mayor in an effort to settle through dialogues the problems faced by the people. Mr. Lee came to me when I was on the onsite mayor’s office in his area last June, and I promised that Seoul Metropolitan Government would find a solution to his problem.
The Director-General of Conflict Management (Mr. Gang Yeong Jin) got involved in the matter, trying to find a solution that would satisfy the needs of both Mr. Lee and the relevant authorities. The officer told Mr. Lee that he could obtain aid under the Small Merchant Startup Support System offered by the Seoul Credit Guarantee Foundation. The officer also made arrangements so that Mr. Lee could continue his past trade. That is why Mr. Lee said he was grateful to me.