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UN Denies Ban Trip to North Korea

  • VOA News

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The United Nations says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will not be travelling to North Korea next week despite media reports saying otherwise.

In a statement Wednesday, a U.N. spokesperson said the U.N. chief will be in New York for most of the week before heading to Malta for the Commonwealth Summit. From there Ban travels to Paris to attend global climate change talks.

Even though he will not visit next week, the United Nations says "the Secretary-General has repeatedly said that he is willing to play any constructive role, including traveling to the DPRK, in an effort to work for peace stability and dialogue on the Korean Peninsula."

In this image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes during the ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the country's ruling party in Pyongyang, Oct. 10, 2015.

In this image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes during the ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the country's ruling party in Pyongyang, Oct. 10, 2015.

On Monday, Chinese and South Korean news agencies quoted an unnamed U.N. source as saying Ban would visit North Korea for a possible meeting with its leader Kim Jong Un.

The last U.N. chief to visit North Korea was Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1993.

Kim, who took over leadership of the country in 2011, has yet to receive a head of state or travel outside the country.

International nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea have been stalled since early 2009. North Korea is under a number of U.N. sanctions imposed after its three nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

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