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UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to visit North Korea

UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to visit North KoreaAfter a rare diplomatic overture by Pyongyang, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to visit North Korea this week. A previous visit planned earlier this year was cancelled at the last minute, according to Deutsche Welle.

Quoting a United Nations source, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said Ban would visit the isolated north Asian country this week, without giving more details about the trip.

But the source said the UN secretary general would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the trip to Pyongyang, becoming the first head of the world body to set foot in the isolated state for more than 20 years, DW has reported.

"There can't be such a situation where the UN secretary general visits North Korea and does not meet with the supreme leader of the UN member state," the source told Yonhap, adding that the trip would likely provide significant momentum to resolve issues on the Korean Peninsula.

Ban, who is South Korean, had to cancel plans to visit North Korea in May after Pyongyang retracted its approval for the trip at the last minute without explanation.

Some analysts say the cancellation was seen as a response to comments Ban made in Seoul warning the North against raising tensions on the divided peninsula. The two countries signed an accord last summer to prevent a further escalation of animosity.
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