Seoul eyes U.N.'s Ban for outreach

April 9, 2013 at 9:17 AM
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SEOUL, April 9 (UPI) -- South Korean lawmakers said Tuesday that sending U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to North Korea may be a good way to ease ongoing tensions.

The North Korean government accused the South Korean and U.S. governments of "watching for a chance to start war," the Yonhap news agency in South Korea reports.

North Korea is said to be preparing some form of missile launch in the coming days as tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalate. Japan deployed its Patriot missile systems as a defensive measure against any such launch that would cross its territory.

North Korea reacted angrily to a U.N. Security Council resolution that censured its February underground test of a nuclear device. The North Korean government said the test was part of a campaign against the United States.

Interim leader of the opposition Democratic Unity Party, Rep. Moon Hee-sang, was quoted by Yonhap as saying the U.N. secretary-general was a good candidate to try to broker some kind of deal with the north.

A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity that "Ban's visit to the North would allow the communist country to find a kind of exit strategy in a relatively easy fashion."

Ban said Monday from The Hague he was "urging the (the North Korean government) to refrain from taking any further provocative measures."

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