05/19/2015 09:23 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2015

UN Chief Ban Says North Korea Retracts Approval For Visit

ED JONES via Getty Images

SEOUL, May 20 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday his plan to go to North Korea for a visit to an industrial complex had been scrapped after Pyongyang retracted its earlier approval, calling the move "deeply regrettable."

"Early this morning, the authorities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea informed us, through their diplomatic channels, that they were reversing their decision for me to visit the Kaesong industrial complex," Ban said in a speech at a forum in Seoul.

"No explanation was given for this last-minute change," he said.

Ban was to be the third serving U.N. chief to visit the North and the first since Boutros Boutros-Ghali visited in 1993. (Reporting by Ju-min Park; Writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Tony Munroe)


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