North Korea cancels invitation to UN chief Ban’s visit

Pyongyang withdraws its invitation of UN secretary general who intends to visit North Korea as part of his mission to thaw bilateral relations between two Koreas

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Secretary General of United Nations Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday  North Korea had abandoned its decision to invite him to visit Kaesong industrial park inside the borders of the North.

Ban was scheduled to visit on Thursday the Kaesong industrial park on the heavily fortified North Korean border with the South upon the previous invitation of North Korean authorities as part of his efforts to promote ties among the Korean peoples.

He described North Korea’s last minute change as “deeply regrettable” about which Pyongyang just told cancellation decision, but did not make an explanation to the UN authorities.

The Kaesong industrial park is considered as the last major joint cooperation project between the two Koreas, and opened in 2004 when the relations were supposedly on the way of warming between the parties.

Ban, the former South Korean foreign minister and now the head of the UN, had expressed several times his willingness to visit North Korea under the “right conditions.”

The UN chief also stated that he will not show further effort to encourage the North Korean leadership to cooperate with the international community on peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.

Ban’s visit was planned immediately after the tension soared in the Peninsula when North Korea exercised its controversial test-firing of submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Previously, North Korea had exercised tests of ballistic missiles, but the recent one raised the South’s concerns since it was fired for the first time from submarines.

South Korea asked the North Korea to terminate test-firing of submarine-launched ballistic missiles which triggered Seoul’s worries and suspicions as well as igniting security dilemma.  

South Korean government has intended to spend about 8 billion dollars over five years in order to cope with the North Korea’s missile threats starting from 2016 onwards.

North Korea was believed to have been developing missile technologies under the autocratic leadership of Kim Jong-un, but it had only tested missiles on land and sea platforms.

Pyongyang is one of the nine nuclear-armed nations and among the four countries which have never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

China has transferred nuclear technologies to North Korea when the country was divided after the Korean War of 1950-52 and aligned itself with the Soviet-Chinese communist bloc during the Cold War era.


TRTWorld and agencies