United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday he will return to South Korea in January after heading the world body for a decade and will consider what role he can play in the future of his country amid a push for him to run for president.

"I understand that there are naturally some expectations from many people in Korea that I should make myself available for a better future of Korea that I am conscious of," said Ban, 72.

Ban said it was the first time he had spoken publicly about his future beyond the United Nations. The U.N. General Assembly a week earlier appointed Ban's successor, former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, who will start on Jan. 1.