South Korean Ban Ki-Moon Nominated UN Secretary General
South Korea’s foreign minister was officially nominated Monday as the next U.N. secretary-general, and he pledged to work to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis hours after the communist regime announced it had tested a nuclear weapon.
“This should be a moment of joy. But instead, I stand here with a very heavy heart,” Ban Ki-Moon told reporters in Seoul, South Korea. “Despite the concerted warning from the international community,
North Korea has gone ahead with a nuclear test.”
Ban, 62, was nominated by the U.N. Security Council to succeed Kofi Annan, whose term expires at the end of the year. He faces likely confirmation by the U.N. General Assembly.
Japan’s U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima asked the 192-nation world body to act promptly to give final approval to Ban so he can have a sufficient transition before taking over as U.N. chief on Jan. 1, after Annan’s second five-year term ends. “I think the fact that the candidate is currently foreign minister of the Republic of Korea is an asset in dealing with the situation in the Korean peninsula that we are now facing,” he said.
Interesting symbolism, anyway. Given how little the United Nations matters in resolving international security crises, it’s unlikely that Ban will be any more effective than Annan. He certainly couldn’t be any less effective.