UN chief’s trip to North still fuzzy

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UN chief’s trip to North still fuzzy

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is not expected to make it to Pyongyang this week due to a full schedule, amid rumors that he is planning a trip to North Korea.

According to the UN secretary generals’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Ban has a “very full week” and he is expected to return to New York from a trip to Turkey for a Group of 20 meeting.

This indicates that a Pyongyang trip will not likely happen this week, as widely reported by the media Monday. The Korean government was not able to confirm these reports.

Dujarric said he had “no further comments” on a Pyongyang trip in the future.

Ban was in Antalya, Turkey for the two-day G-20 leaders’ summit that kicked off Sunday, where he called for countries to follow the rule of law in response to the deadly Paris terrorist attacks on Friday that killed 129 people.

Radio Free Asia, citing a Chinese source, reported Tuesday that in September Ban proposed a visit to Pyongyang to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Ri was North Korean ambassador to Switzerland when Kim Jong-un was a student in the country and a guardian to him. That connection prompted further speculation of a meeting between Ban and the North Korean leader in Pyongyang.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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