United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon Climbs Taishan Mountain
Michael Song, Oct. 8, 2015, 8:38 a.m.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon climbed a mountain in China early last month that has symbolic significance for people seeking high office. The Weekly Chosun said the mountain, called Taishan, is often visited by Korean presidential hopefuls because Chinese emperors used to hold ceremonies there to accept the mandate of heaven.
That could mean Ban still has his eye on the Korean presidency once he retires from the UN job. According to Chinese media reports, Ban and his wife climbed the mountain on Sept. 4. It was raining, which created a buzz on Chinese social media, since legend has it that getting drenched while climbing Mount Taishan is an auspicious sign.
Photos on Weibo showed Ban climbing the mountain holding an umbrella and praying with his wife for good fortune. "I always wanted to visit Mount Taisan. You can overcome any difficulty if you climb it," he was quoted as saying. Despite vehement denials, Ban continues to be tipped as a presidential hopeful in the next election. When he visited Korea in May, Ban said, "I have never been interested in entering politics."