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UN denies reports on Ban Ki-moon’s invitation to visit North Korea

September 29, 2014, 10:14 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
The speculation came after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong delivered a handwritten letter to the UN Secretary General during his debut at the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

© EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

THE UNITED NATIONS, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The United Nations organization has denied the reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit Pyongyang.

The speculation came after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong delivered a handwritten letter to Mr. Ban during his debut at the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.

The UN Secretary General’s office later said that Mr. Ban “thanked the foreign minister for personally conveying a letter from Mr. Kim Jong-un, first secretary of the (North Korea's) Workers’ Party.”

"There has been some speculation that the letter contains substantive issues, including an invitation to the Secretary General to visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Such speculation is totally groundless," the spokesman for the UN chief, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement on Sunday.

The spokesman clarified that this was only a formal thank-you letter from Mr. Kim Jong Un to the UN chief for the message he had sent recently on the occasion of the Anniversary of the Founding of the DPRK.

Ri Su-yong became the first North Korean foreign minister to have addressed the UN General Assembly in the past 15 years. Last time, Pyongyang was represented at this major international forum at the ministerial level in 1999.

The North Korean top diplomat has called for the reunification of both Koreas through a system of confederation, proposed by Kim Il-sung in the late 1980s. Mr. Ri said the DPRK maintains that this is the only way to prevent war and safeguard peace.

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