SEOUL, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The U.N. Secretary-General said on Monday that he plans to visit North Korea soon, but does not have a specific date.
Ban Ki-moon said that he had had "positive" exchanges with North Korean officials but that challenges remain, TIME reported.
"I do not believe arranging the visit will be easy, and since there are many sensitive issues involved, it requires patience," Ban told the Korea Times.
The remarks were the first Ban had made about visiting North Korea. Last week, the United Nations denied reports that Ban was expected to visit North Korea after China's Xinhua news agency had reported that the visit was confirmed for next week.
North Korea has been showing signs indicating it is interested in improving relations with the South since a landmark agreement defused border tensions on Aug. 25. In October, North Korea's foreign minister urged the United States to sign a peace treaty that could prevent future wars on the Korean peninsula.
Representatives from Seoul and Pyongyang also are scheduled to meet on Nov. 26 at the truce village of Panmunjom.
South Korean outlet Newsis reported that the North is likely to broach the subject of the May 24 economic sanctions that were imposed on it after the sinking of the South's warship Cheonan.
Analysts said North Korea is keen to reopen the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region to South Korean visitors.