Seoul seeks probe into Gangnam’s smear campaign

Seoul City said Wednesday that it has requested prosecutors to investigate Gangnam district's alleged online smear campaign against the city government.

Last week, Seoul Metropolitan Government said it caught signs that Gangnam-gu Office had systematically posted slanderous online comments against Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon. The two parties have been in discord over various infrastructure projects since 2012.

"The majority of suspicious comments are currently being deleted and there are concerns that the log files may also be eliminated," city officials said.

The city authorities suspected that 14 district officials had posted some 300 malicious online comments. More than 140 comments have been deleted since last week, they added.

Gangnam-gu Office has denied the allegations. It refuted that the city had conducted the smear campaign against the district.

If a systematic smear campaign is confirmed, the district officials can be punished on charges of defaming and violating political neutrality as public servants, the city said.