Outgoing UN chief shows interest in politics

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : December 21, 2016, 10:32 | Updated : December 21, 2016, 10:32

[Yonhap News Photo]

Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon showed an interest in domestic politics, describing himself as a man who will not space himself for national prosperity and development.

He suggested South Korea now needs a fresh political paradigm to relieve widespread "public frustration and despair" which have been shown in a wave of candle-lit protests prompted by a corruption scandal engulfing President Park Geun-hye.

"I believe candles spring from the lack of good leadership and system," Ban told South Korean reporters in New York.

Ban, whose second five-year term as UN chief ends this month, has distanced himself from being involved in political affairs in South Korea, although he is regarded as a potential candidate in next year's presidential election.

Park's conservative Saenuri Party once suggested that it would welcome Ban as its presidential candidate. But political pundits believe the outgoing UN chief faces an uncertain future when he comes back to South Korea as the ruling party is engulfed in a serious internal dispute.

In a series of recent polls, Ban is still seen as a viable contender in the presidential race, along with Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic Party.

When asked about his presidential candidacy, the 72-year-old gave no clear commitment saying, "Most important of all is public opinion."

"I will make up my mind after having a firm grasp of how the people think," he said. "I'm always ready to square up public criticism or praise in a humble attitude."

"I will not spare myself for our national development and public welfare if I have a chance," he said. However, Ban acknowledged the lack of his political base saying a political career requires partnership.
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