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UN chief in Japan ahead of Myanmar visit

UN chief in Japan ahead of Myanmar visit

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who is going to Myanmar on a diplomatic bid to win the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, is stopping by Japan for talks on Myanmar, North Korea and other global issues.
Ban, scheduled to arrive here Tuesday for a three-day visit, will meet Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone to discuss Suu Kyi's trial and North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, according to the Foreign Ministry.
They also may discuss political turmoil in Iran where protesters continue to take to the streets after the June 12 presidential vote. Ban was scheduled for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday.
Ban then travels to Myanmar for a two-day visit starting Friday, according to U.N. officials. Ban is set to arrive in Yangon, Myanmar's commercial capital, the same day Suu Kyi's trial resumes, and is hoping to meet with her, they say.
The 64-year-old Nobel Peace laureate is in Myanmar's notorious Insein prison and being tried on charges of violating the terms of her house arrest after an uninvited American man swam to her closely guarded lakeside home last month and stayed two days.
Ban's talks in Tokyo are also expected to center on Iran, where incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner but opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has claimed fraud, calling for a new election.
Ban has urged Iran's leaders to heed "the genuine will of Iranian people," but has not said what the U.N. might do.
On North Korea, the U.N. chief and the foreign minister are expected to urge the regime to give up its nuclear program and return to international disarmament talks.
Ban's three-day visit to Japan comes amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula following Pyongyang's second nuclear test on May 25 in defiance of a U.N. ban.
The United Nations punished the communist regime over the atomic test by expanding an arms embargo and authorizing ship searches on the high seas in a bid to derail its nuclear and missile programs.
North Korea lashed out at the U.N. sanctions, saying it would bolster its nuclear arsenal and threatened war. Pyongyang is also reportedly preparing for a third nuclear test and more long-range missile launches.
Ban, who served as South Korean foreign minister from 2004-2006, is scheduled for talks with Aso Wednesday after meeting Japanese business leaders. He leaves for Singapore on Thursday.


Updated : 2021-07-26 02:49 GMT+08:00