Poll says he is now in sec­ond place, be­hind po­ten­tial ri­val Moon Jae-in

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGEN­CIES in Seoul

For­mer UN sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ban Ki-moon said on Thurs­day he will an­nounce soon whether he will run for South Korea’s pres­i­dency, as he re­turned home and strongly hinted at his po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions be­fore hun­dreds of cheer­ing sup­port­ers.

Ban’s re­turn will likely heat up lo­cal pol­i­tics as he’s con­sid­ered the only ma­jor con­ser­va­tive con­tender in a pos­si­ble early elec­tion to re­place im­peached Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye. Dozens of law­mak­ers have al­ready bolted from Park’s con­ser­va­tive rul­ing par- ty and want to align with Ban, while the main lib­eral op­po­si­tion party is es­ca­lat­ing its po­lit­i­cal of­fen­sive against him.

“Many peo­ple have asked me whether I have a will for power. If ‘will for power’ means unit­ing a di­vided coun­try into one and mak­ing it a first-class coun­try again, then I have al­ready said I am ready to burn my body in de­vo­tion to this and my mind hasn’t changed,” Ban told a tele­vised con­fer­ence upon his ar­rival at In­cheon International Air­port near Seoul.

As his sup­port­ers shouted his name, Ban, a for­mer South Korean for­eign min­is­ter, said

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