South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon has formally submitted his candidacy to be the next UN Secretary-General, a foreign ministry official said on Friday.
Ban presented an application to the chief of UN Security Council on Thursday via the South Korean mission in New York, the ministry official said on condition of anonymity, citing ministry policy.
The move was expected and Ban has for months been waging a low-key campaign for the position.
Other candidates include Sri Lanka's Jayantha Dhanapala, a former UN Undersecretary for disarmament, and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai.
Earlier this week, US President George W Bush said the United States was looking to an Asian candidate to replace outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose second five-year term expires December 31.
"We're really looking in the Far East right now" for the next secretary-general, Bush said, noting that tradition holds that the top UN post rotates by region.