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S. Korea announces trade minister for WTO top job

The Minister of Commerce of South Korea Bark Taeho listens during the opening of the G20 Trade Ministerial Meeting at the Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on April, 19, 2012. South Korea on Friday nominated Bark to succeed Pascal Lamy as director-general of the World Trade Organisation, the WTO said.

South Korea on Friday nominated its trade minister, Taeho Bark, to succeed Pascal Lamy as director-general of the World Trade Organisation, the WTO said.

Aside from Bark, 60, seven other people have applied for the job.

The WTO's 158 member nations have until Monday to present a candidate and the body's General Council will start interviewing candidates from the end of January.

The General Council, which is the WTO's top decision body, will announce the new director-general by May 31. Frenchman Lamy has been in the role since 2005 -- his term ends August 31, 2013.

Observers say the next head will most likely not be a European or an American. Three of the eight candidates are women.

The announcement of Bark's application means South Korea, Mexico, Ghana, Costa Rica, Indonesia, New Zealand, Jordan and Kenya have presented candidates.