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U.N. secretary general receives letter from N.K. leader

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Ban's office said, without disclosing details on what it contained.

   The letter was delivered on Saturday through North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Su-yong, who met Ban on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, according to the office.

   Ban thanked Ri, the first North Korean foreign minister to attend the U.N. meeting in 15 years, for the letter and for his attendance, the office said.

   During his meeting with Ri, Ban called for resolving all inter-Korean issues through dialogue. He especially stressed the issue of denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, saying it is important to improve inter-Korean ties in order to bring lasting peace to the divided nation.

   The secretary general expressed concern over the current situation in North Korea that demands greater humanitarian aid, saying U.N. agencies should be granted better access to the North Korean people and able to verify that the aid reaches those in need.

   Ri expressed his country's willingness to discuss the human rights situation in the North with the international community.

   The foreign minister made similar remarks in an address to the U.N. General Assembly, saying, "The government of the DPRK is willing to promote human rights dialogue and cooperation on an equal footing with other countries which are not hostile to it."

   DPRK is the acronym of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (Yonhap)

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