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A somewhat unlikely childhood ambition

This, from a speech by Ban Ki-Moon (to a group of children):

"So, please indulge me while I tell you a true story about someone I know very well. His name is Han Seung-soo, currently the Prime Minister of Korea, where I come from. When he was a young boy, he lived in an isolated village in the mountains of my country, Korea. He had to get up at dawn and travel for miles, crossing two different rivers, just to get to school. The only thing that kept him going was the dream that he might one day become President of the United Nations General Assembly. He later wrote that this great dream, I quote “offered one destitute boy the hope and sense of purpose needed to continue studying”....It was a great dream, but I think, looking back, it was also a very unlikely, unrealistic dream, because, at the time, Korea was not even a member of the United Nations....Still, he never gave up his dream. He studied hard and began to work on the international scene. And finally, in 2001, right here in this room, he was elected President of the United Nations General Assembly -- the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly. I worked as his Chief of Staff at that time".

When very small, I wanted to be an astronaut and when an adolescent would tell all and sundry I wanted to be a mercenary (great for unnerving relatives). Anyway Seung-soo was born in 1936, so he would have been nine when the first meeting of the general assembly was convened, at Methodist Central Hall, of all places. There's a list of GenAss Presidents here, and I would be dumbfounded if anyone outside Turtle Bay could name any of them. Paul-Henri Spaak, Lester Pearson and Abdelaziz Bouteflika ring bells, but for other achievements.

I wonder if Seung-soo was overcome with tears, Miss World style, when enthroned? Or more likely, is he going to hunt down Ban-ki and use him for taekwondo practice as a punishment for foisting this unlikely tale on the populace?

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