SEOUL, South Korea: A day before the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was to visit North Korea, Pyongyang withdrew the invitation it had earlier extended to the UN Chief.
Ban Ki-moon was scheduled to visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex, an industrial park and duty-free trade facility located in the North Korea border city of Kaesong but jointly run by governments of both North and South Korea.
“Early this morning, North Korea suddenly informed us through a diplomatic channel that they are calling off the North Korean authorities’ permission for my visit to the Kaesong Industrial Complex,” Ban told a forum in Seoul on Wednesday.
“There was no explanation at all for the reason for the sudden cancellation. Such a decision by Pyongyang is very regrettable,” he said.
In an announcement Ban made on Tuesday about his visit to North Korea, he said that he hoped to help promote reconciliation between the two Koreas.
“As UN secretary-general, I will not spare any effort to urge North Korea to cooperate with the international community for the Korean Peninsula and for peace and stability,” Ban was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency after North Korea cancelled his planned visit to the industrial park.