After 10 years as general secretary of the United Nations, South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon has returned home, stirring up rumours that he could seek to be the country’s next President.

There has been speculation in the north-east Asian country for months that the 72-year-old could run for president later in the year.

“It will not take a long time for me to make that decision,’’ he said at his arrival at Incheon International Airport, near Seoul.

“I make it clear once and for all that I have nothing to be ashamed of, as I have served in the Republic of Korea and the United Nations over the past five decades as a public servant for the nation and the world,’’ he was quoted to have said in a report.

Opinion surveys show that Ban is one of the favourites to succeed Park Geun Hye, who has been involved in a scandal revolving around the extent  that she influenced her friend, Choi Soon Sil, on political processes.

South Korean lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to impeach Park, South Korea’s first female president, last month, following weeks of protests, which saw hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets.

Should the impeachment process be successful, the presidential election set for December would have to be held earlier.

Ban was UN general secretary from 2007 to 2016 prior to that he was the foreign minister of South Korea from 2004 to 2006.