The only one of six candidates to survive a UN Security Council veto, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon appears poised to take over on Jan. 1 if approved by the UN General Assembly.
"On Monday afternoon, Ban's dream took another step forward when he cemented his position to succeed Annan, becoming the only one of six candidates to escape a veto in an informal U.N. Security Council ballot while securing 14 votes in favor. "It is quite clear that from today's straw poll that Minister Ban Ki-Moon is the candidate that the Security Council will recommend to the General Assembly,"China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said."
Ban is a life-long diplomat, has served in India, Austria, the US and UN for his country. He has been S. Korea's FM since 2004. He is described as thoughtful, quiet and soft-spoken, a "natural" diplomat. He would take over the post from controversial Kofi Annan, whose term expires Dec. 31.
It will be a great relief to finally be rid of "oil-for-food" Annan for the US and the West in general. Ban met JFK travelling in the US as a student, and coming from S. Korea, is likely to be far more friendly to the US and its interests. He has been heavily involved with the negotiations with neighboring North Korea over its nuclear program, which appears active with a test firing this weekend. The US Geological Survey detected a magnitude 4 tremor thought to be the test.