|South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon
delivers a speech after he was nominated to succeed Kofi Annan as
the new UN Secretary General.(AFP/Kim
The United Nations (UN) Security Council has nominated South Korean
Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon as its choice to succeed Kofi Annan as UN
Ban had earlier told reporters that South Korea supports an emergency
Security Council meeting following North Korea's nuclear test.
"My government fully supports the immediate convening of a Security
Council meeting tomorrow New York time," Ban said in a meeting with US
ambassador Alexander Vershbow.
"We will very closely cooperate with the international community."
Ban's remarks came as the United States called for immediate action by
the Council after North Korea's announcement that it detonated its first nuclear device on
The Seoul government vowed to "sternly deal with" Pyongyang's act,
saying it would not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea.
"Our government has issued a very strong statement expressing our
deepest concern," Ban told the US envoy.
"All the consequences should be borne by North Koreans."
Ban said he had had emergency telephone
conferences with his US and Japanese counterparts.
Ban, 62, is set to be designated as the next UN secretary general when
the Security Council meets Monday to formalize its choice.
It is expected to recommend him to the 192-member General Assembly,
which will then formally elect him -- most likely later this month.
Ban would take office next January to replace Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian
who steps down after having completed two five-year terms.
Ban would be the first Asian to run the UN in more than 30 years.