UN chief fuels presidential speculation with S Korea trip
Ban Ki-Moon was due to arrive in South Korea on Wednesday for a six-day visit that has fuelled speculation the UN chief is lining up a tilt at the presidency of his home country. Ban’s schedule involves a number of international forums, including the UN NGO conference in the southern city of Gyeongju.
While he is not expected to hold any formal talks with political officials during his trip, it is his political future that has been the main topic of media coverage in the run-up to his arrival.
The 71-year-old will step down from the post of UN Secretary General at the end of the year – 12 months before South Korea’s presidential election in December 2017. The ruling conservative Saenuri party, which suffered a shock defeat in parliamentary polls in April, has made it clear it would welcome Ban as its candidate.