UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he will visit the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea, which is under UN sanctions for its nuclear and missile programs, on Thursday.
He is going to be the first UN chief to enter the isolated country in more than two decades, after Boutros Boutros-Ghali's visit in 1993.
The Kaesong industrial complex, which is the latest major co-operation project undertaken between the two Koreas, is a special economic zone near the heavily fortified border.
Ban, who is in South Korea for an education forum, said he aims to promote "genuine dialogue" and improve ties between two countries, describing the Kaesong project as a "win-win model."
North and South Korea are technically still at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armed truce, not a peace treaty.
Ban, who was South Korea's foreign minister before becoming the UN chief, had repeatedly expressed a willingness to visit North Korea "under the right conditions."