Ban Ki-moon, following his appointment to the post, said in an interview with Itar-Tass that he was deeply grateful to the Russian government, to President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for their consistent support. He said he would pay a visit to Moscow, in order to discuss ways of developing cooperation between the U.N. and Russia, which is one of the key members of the U.N. Security Council.
"We highly appreciate the constructive role Russia is playing in the efforts to settle the North Korean nuclear problem," Ban Ki-moon said.
He said he was hoping North Korea will refrain from further actions which could aggravate the situation, and immediately, and without any conditions return to the six-party talks.
Lavrov said Russia does not agree that it would be reasonable to recognize North Korea to be a nuclear power and to build relations with it on that basis.
"We'll be doing everything that depends on us to stop such dangerous trends. But many countries think about ensuring their security in such a situation. One cannot resolve non-proliferation problems without answering this question," the Russian diplomat said.
The 8th UN secretary general calls himself a specialist in launching bridges. "My task is to rebuild trust between member-states of the organization," he told an Itar-Tass correspondent at the United Nations.
International officials and diplomats note that Ban Ki-moon is an experienced and skillful diplomat, with almost four decades of experience in the Foreign Ministry and government of South Korea.
He is well-versed in the UN system, and speaks two languages of the UN headquarters: English and French.
After his foreign tour Ban Ki Moon intends to quit the post of foreign minister and fully concentrate on the preparation for activities that are new to him.