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United Nations Denies Report Ban Ki Moon Will Visit North Korea

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Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The United Nations denied a report by a South Korean newspaper that its Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon may visit North Korea in March.

“This report is totally baseless,” the spokesperson for the secretary-general said in an e-mailed statement. “I wish to make it absolutely clear that there are no plans for or discussions about such a visit by the Secretary-General as reported.”

South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported earlier today Ban may visit Pyongyang in March to discuss the participation of the two Koreas in the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade, a sporting event for university athletes, as a unified team, citing an interview with Gwangju City Mayor Kang Un Tae.

Ban said last month that he is willing to visit North Korea when “the time comes, when appropriate conditions” are created. The UN Security Council unanimously condemned North Korea’s Dec. 12 long-range rocket launch, calling it a “clear violation” of UN prohibitions.

North Korea requested emergency supplies from the UN last summer, including food and fuel, as it suffered from torrential rains and flooding.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eunkyung Seo in Seoul at eseo3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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