UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon might visit North Korea

By @pathakmishra on
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a joint news conference with Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad January 13, 2014.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a joint news conference with Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad January 13, 2014. Reuters

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will reportedly visit Pyongyang, North Korea, this week to meet leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported the possible tour on Monday, citing a senior U.N. official as the source of information. The U.N. refused to comment on the reports. If the information is true, Ban will be the first U.N. chief to visit the nation after Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1993. The exact date of meeting with Kim has not been mentioned.  

“There can’t be such a situation where the U.N. Secretary-General visits North Korea and does not meet with the supreme leader of the U.N. member state,” Yonhan’s “high-level UN source” said on Monday as reported by CNN.

Ban had earlier planned to visit an inter-Korean factory in May, which the North Korean authorities cancelled at the last minute a day prior to his arrival. The U.N. chief said that the country did not give any reason behind cancellation of the visit. The details of this week’s visit have not yet been specified by the sources, though.

Seoul-based analysts, speaking on the cancellation of Ban’s trip in May, said that the North Korean authorities might have done so because they believed that the chief would favour viewpoints of Washington and Seoul.

Yonhap quoted another U.N. source as saying Ban’s North Korean visit would prove to be a milestone so far as the nation’s nuclear weapons program is concerned. It might also work for the bitter relations between the Korean counterparts. Ban is South Korean and was a foreign minister of the country prior to becoming the U.N. chief.

North Korea receives huge sanctions for its nuclear testing from the U.N., EU and the U.S. During the Korean war of 1950-53, the U.N. supported South Korea. This was the battle that divided the peninsula into two halves.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.