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S. Korean FM to Run for Top Post of UN
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South Korean government made clear Tuesday that its Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon will run for the post of secretary general of the United Nations.

"We will notify the Security Council of his candidacy through a letter addressed to its president once the council officially commences the election process," the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement read by Vice Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan.

It is the first time for a South Korean to attend the race of the UN secretary general.

Ban, 61, is a career diplomat with 36 years of service and he also has extensive experience at the UN.

He was tapped by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun as Seoul's top diplomat in February 2004.

South Korea's announcement came as the campaign for the post is moving into high gear, with current Secretary General Kofi Annan's second five-year term nearing an end.

Annan's term will be ended at the end of this year, and his successor is expected to be chosen in the fall.

Up to now, Sri Lanka has named diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala and Thailand named Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai to run for the post.

(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2006)

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