World

Ex-UN chief 
opts out of South Korean presidential race

SEOUL: Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon, once considered the front-runner to be South Korea's next president, ruled himself out running for the top job yesterday, disappointed at the "selfish ways" of some politicians in his home country.

Mr Ban said at an unscheduled news conference at parliament, after meeting leaders of conservative parties, that it was "meaningless" to join them.

"I have decided to give up the pure intention of trying to lead political change and accomplish national reconciliation," he said.

Mr Ban returned to Korea on Jan 12 after serving 10 years as UN chief, but had been unable to capitalise on his much-anticipated homecoming, cutting a sometimes-irritable figure in public and mired in a series of perceived public relation gaffes and a scandal involving family members. - REUTERS

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