Times under fire for Korean aid allegations

Times mastheadThe (London) Times is drawing fire from the Chosun for its mischievous linking of Seoul’s increasing largesse in foreign aid with Ban Ki-Moon’s candidacy for the secretary-generalship of the United Nations.

An article from last week catalogued the increased amounts of aid pledged by Seoul to various African nations. A prompt rebuttal by the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, published in Monday’s paper this week, aimed to set the record straight by setting the context of Seoul needing to increase its foreign aid budget to somewhere approaching the OECD recommended level. (That doesn’t quite explain the gift of a grand piano to Peru, but I think it would take more than a grand piano to buy my vote if I were president. Unless it was a nice Bosendorfer).

The Chosun’s spin on this is that now Ban is looking near-certain to win the appointment, detractors are bound to come forward.

The Times’s vote would be for the Latvian president, going against the informal practice of rotating the post between the various continents. Nevertheless, the Times has published a reasonably favourable profile of Ban here.

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