Tags: ban ki-moon | south korea | president | fake news

Ban Ki-moon Drops Bid for South Korean Presidency, Blames 'Fake News'

Image: Ban Ki-moon Drops Bid for South Korean Presidency, Blames 'Fake News'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waves as he departs from UN headquarters on Dec. 30, 2016, in New York. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Feb 2017 07:19 AM

Ban Ki-moon, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, has dropped out of the race for president of South Korea.

His exit from the race leaves leading candidates that want closer ties with China and North Korea at the expense of the United States and Japan, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ban's star power had declined in an intense political climate, reeling from impeachment charges against President Park Geuyn-hye, the Journal noted. Opponents have leveled that Ban would be a continuation of Park's rule while the controversy has fueled support for "outsider" candidates.

The Journal said Ban's departure would likely lead to the rise of the top opposition candidate Moon Jae-In, who has called for stronger North Korea ties, a renegotiation of a missile defense system there supported by the United States, and reeling in local business giants Samsung and Hyundai.

Ban, 72, a career bureaucrat, was mocked for being out of touch with everyday South Koreans after a decade with the United Nations in New York, The Washington Post reported. He was also tainted by corruption allegations facing family members.

He called the effort to discredit him and his family "fake news," the newspaper noted.

"For the past three weeks, I have devoted everything I had, but my genuine patriotism and passion were damaged by rumors and fake news," Ban said in a news conference at the National Assembly after meeting with the leaders of three political parties Wednesday, according to the Post.

"I, my family and the U.N. have been greatly hurt … I will give up my pure aspiration to achieve a change in politics under my leadership and unify the country," Ban added.

South Korean presidential elections are scheduled for December, but if Park is removed from office, elections must be held within 60 days of the final ruling, the Post reported. Park is facing ouster over her role in a corruption and influence-peddling scandal.

South Korea's Constitutional Court is trying to decide whether to uphold a National Assembly motion to remove Park, which could come later in February.

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Ban Ki-moon, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, has dropped out of the race for president of South Korea.
ban ki-moon, south korea, president, fake news
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2017-19-02
Thursday, 02 Feb 2017 07:19 AM
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