Kim Jong-Yang

The United States on Tuesday supported a South Korean candidate, Kim Jong-Yang, to lead Interpol, as controversy rages over a Russian candidate to lead the organisation.

Kim, a South Korean police officer, is the current interim president of Interpol.

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He serves as acting president until a permanent replacement will be elected at a meeting in Dubai this month.

He once served as Chief of Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency from 2014 to 2015

A vote is set to take place on Wednesday in Dubai on the final day of Interpol’s annual conference to replace former president Meng Hongwei, who is now detained in China on bribery charges.

“We strongly endorse Kim Jong-Yang, who is serving as its acting president.

“We encourage all nations and organizations that are part of Interpol and that respect the rule of law to choose a leader with integrity. We believe Mr Kim will be just that,” Pompeo told reporters.

Critics have urged Interpol to reject Russian candidate Alexander Prokopchuk, over fears Moscow could abuse the role to target political opponents.