Asia

United Nations denies Ban Ki-Moon plans visit to North Korea

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon talks to reporters during a press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Ban was due to visit in May when North Korea abruptly cancelled his visit one day before his arrival

The United Nations has denied reports that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to visit North Korea.

China's state media had earlier quoted North Korean sources as saying Mr Ban was due to visit Pyongyang this week. South's Korea's Yonhap news agency ran similar reports earlier in the week.

A planned visit by Mr Ban to North Korea in May was abruptly cancelled.

The last visit by a UN chief to the reclusive nation was by Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1993.

The UN said in a statement that Mr Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, would be in New York next week then Malta, before going to the COP21 climate summit in Paris.

He had no plans to go to North Korea but "has repeatedly said that he is willing to play any constructive role", including travelling there, "in an effort to work for peace, stability and dialogue on the Korean Peninsula", a spokesman said.

Earlier reports had said that he was due to visit for four days and would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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