UN Secretary General denied entry to area of North Korea

11:53, 20 May 2015
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The government of North Korea has denied UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon permission to visit the Kaesong Industrial Zone, the BBC has reported.


"Early this morning, the authorities of North Korea informed us through diplomatic channels that they revoked my permission to visit Kaesong. The reasons for this decision are unknown to us," said Ban Ki-moon, who was in the South Korean capital Seoul.

The Kaesong Industrial Zone was set up jointly between North and South Korea in 2002 as way to foster economic ties. The zone, which is just north of the Demilitarized Zone separating the two states gives South Korea access to cheap, Korean-speaking labor, while the North gets access to much-needed foreign currency.

The trip to Kaesong was scheduled for May 21 and earlier approved by both Seoul and Pyongyang.

No UN Secretary-General has visited North Korea for more than 20 years. The last UN chief to visit North Korea was Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who was there in 1993.

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