South Korea's Yoo Myung-hee, vying to become Korea's first leader to head the WTO is reportedly behind her Nigerian rival in their two-way race.
At a WTO General Council meeting on Wednesday, Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala garnered more support from the WTO's 164 member states than Yoo.
But, there's another variable to possibly turn the tables: support from the U.S.
"The U.S. said that they supported minister Yoo because of her 25 years of trade experience, that she would be able to hit the ground running. They said that they could not endorse doctor Ngozi."
This also comes as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has expressed its intention to endorse South Korea's candidate.
The process to pick the new leader of the WTO is based on forming a consensus among all member-states.
In other words, a single country could block either Yoo or Ngozi.
The WTO also explained this crucial process of approving its new chief would take place during a special council meeting slated for November 9th.
According to diplomatic sources, the European Union is supporting the Nigerian candidate, whom Japan is also backing.
The thoughts of China and other major economies remain unclear.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.