Monday, February 01, 2010

UN to send top aide to North Korea this month

UN chief Ban Ki-moon's top political adviser Lynn Pascoe will visit North Korea in February as part of a four-nation tour that will also take him to China, Japan and South Korea, a UN statement said on Sunday.

Mr Ban's press office said Mr Pascoe, the UN under secretary general for political affairs, would visit North Korea from Feb 9 to 12 on the first leg of his east Asian tour to hold wide-ranging talks on all issues of mutual interest with senior North Korean officials.

In September, Ban Ki-moon, a South Korean former foreign minister, conferred with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Park Gil Yon at UN headquarters on North Korea's nuclear program as well as on humanitarian and human rights issues.

The United Nations wanted to send envoys to Pyongyang early last year but North Korea rejected the offer, Yonhap said. Pyongyang has been under growing international pressure to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks that the communist state has boycotted for nine months.

Straits Times

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