Partial transcript of remarks by the Secretary-General to press following his signing of a condolence book at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea
New York , 23 November 2015
Q: [inaudible question on potential visit to the Korean peninsula]
SG: …As one national of the Republic of Korea, I have often stated, as you well know, my willingness to play any role if there was an opportunity, including through a visit to North Korea, to promote peace and reconciliation between the South and North Koreas, and reduce tensions. The relations and political situation between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) had not been conducive, but recently DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong visited the UN Headquarters twice, providing opportunities for us to meet, and it is a fact that we discussed the role of the Secretary-General in this regard. Recently, on this, there has been a bit of a positive signal from the DPRK, and we are at the moment coordinating when would be the best time to visit the DPRK, but so far nothing has been decided. Once the decision is made, I will inform the reporters, and proceed with the visit to the DPRK. I am sure there are many things you are curious about the issue, but I must say that it takes time to advance work, and since there are many sensitive issues at play, so I request that you follow the situation with patience.
Q: The citizens of Korea are very interested, and they want to know when this visit would approximately take place.
SG: That is something I cannot respond at the moment, but I will say that we will make the effort to do so at the earliest possible date.
Off-the-Cuff on 23 November 2015