UN Secretary General Ban criticises Park government

Seoul, Dec 19 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has criticised South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s administration over a corruption scandal involving her longtime friend, voicing concerns over the country’s “lack of good governance”, the media reported on Monday.

Ban on Friday said South Korea has never experienced such political turmoil except during the 1950-53 Korean War, Yonhap news agency reported.

Ban’s remarks sparked speculation that the Secretary General, long considered a potential presidential candidate, has started distancing himself from the impeached President.

“(South Koreans) were very much frustrated and angry about the complete lack of good governance,” he said on Friday.

Addressing the scandal that has gripped South Korea over the past two months, Ban said the political turbulence in the country is “surprising and unexpected”.

“When her father President Park Chung-hee was assassinated in 1979, those were the times when Koreans were going through a turbulent process. But this time, in a very peaceful society, very democratic, economically well-to-do society, this has happened,” he said.

Pointing to South Koreans’ resilience and respect for democratic institutions, Ban expressed hope that the country will soon get over the political crisis.

“I am convinced that soon they will be able to overcome this crisis. I hope that this will give good lessons to those in leadership in Korean society, whether political, economic or social,” he said.

Although the outgoing UN chief has yet to declare his intention to run in the presidential election next year, his name has long been bandied about as a formidable presidential candidate.