UN chief hopes for agreement to visit North Korea soon

By Associated Press EDITH M. LEDERER ,

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FILE - In this May 20, 2015 file photo, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the U.N. Academic Impact Seoul Forum in Seoul, South Korea. Ban will visit Pyongyang this week for a possible meeting with leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean news rep

FILE - In this May 20, 2015 file photo, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the U.N. Academic Impact Seoul Forum in Seoul, South Korea. Ban will visit Pyongyang this week for a possible meeting with leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean news rep (Photo: Ahn Young-joon)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he’s in discussions with North Korean officials about visiting the country and hopes soon to reach an agreement on a date.

Ban said at a news conference Wednesday that he is ready to use his position to do “whatever it may take for peace and stability and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.”

Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, noted some encouraging developments between the two Koreas, including an agreement on reunions for separated families.

He noted the lack of breakthroughs at high-level talks between the rival countries earlier this month but said “we should not be frustrated” and expressed hope that continued talks would lead to reconciliation.

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