North Korea has mocked outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over his apparent ambitions to run for South Korean president, calling him an opportunistic “chameleon in a human mask” who’s dreaming a “hollow dream”.
The North’s state-run Uriminzokkiri website said Mr Ban’s alleged presidential ambitions were absurd because the way he handled his job as UN chief for the past 10 years has left him living in “criticism and shame”.
The article said Mr Ban, 72, had a bad reputation in South Korea’s domestic politics because he was an opportunist who “sets sail wherever winds blow and changes colours by the circumstance”.
“There is an old saying that you stretch your feet no longer than your blanket will reach,” Uriminzokkiri said.
“His harbouring presidential ambitions despite living in all sorts of criticism and shame could only described as an incomparably hollow, silly dream.”
Mr Ban, who steps down as UN secretary-general at the end of the year after two five-year terms, has not officially declared an ambition to run for South Korean president, but he has not denied his interest either.
In a meeting with South Korean reporters in New York earlier this week, Mr Ban said he was ready to “burn” his body in devotion for South Korea, his strongest hint yet of a presidential bid.
The spotlight is on Mr Ban because there was a possibility South Korea could hold a presidential election in the coming months.
The country’s opposition-controlled parliament earlier this month voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.
If Ms Park is formally removed from office, a presidential election must be held within 60 days.
If he does make a run for the presidential Blue House, Mr Ban is likely to represent a new conservative party created by defectors from Ms Park’s Saenuri Party.