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UN Security Council Nominates South Korean FM as New Secretary General


The United Nations Security Council has nominated South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon as the successor to outgoing Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Ban told reporters in Seoul that while his nomination should be a moment of joy, his heart is "very heavy" given the situation with North Korea.

Ban's bid for the U.N. post was largely uncontested as all of his competitors dropped out of the race last week.

A U.S. State Department spokesman Scott McCormack said Ban was the right choice at a pivotal time for the world body and urged his prompt confirmation by its 192-member General Assembly.

If successful, Ban will assume his post on January first when Annan steps down.

The General Assembly has traditionally approved the council's choice for U.N. secretary-general by acclamation.

If approved, Ban will become the first South Korean to take the much-coveted post and the second Asian following U Thant of Burma who served from 1961 to 1971.

Ban has said very little to the media about what he hopes to accomplish as U.N. secretary-general. Last week, however, he told a South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo that he hopes to go to North Korea as soon as he gets the chance.

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