World

UN Secretary-General Ban to cross Korean border to visit jointly run factory park in North

  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the 'UN Global Compact - Korea Leaders Summit' event in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Ban on Tuesday said that he will visit a factory park in North Korea that is the last major cooperation project between the rival Koreas.(Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the 'UN Global Compact - Korea Leaders Summit' event in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Ban on Tuesday said that he will visit a factory park in North Korea that is the last major cooperation project between the rival Koreas.(Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • South Korean President Park Geun-hye, bottom, sits as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, left, greets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, upon their arrival for the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Baek Seung-yul/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye, bottom, sits as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, left, greets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, upon their arrival for the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Baek Seung-yul/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon smiles during the 'UN Global Compact - Korea Leaders Summit' event in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Ban on Tuesday said that he will visit a factory park in North Korea that is the last major cooperation project between the rival Koreas. (Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon smiles during the 'UN Global Compact - Korea Leaders Summit' event in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Ban on Tuesday said that he will visit a factory park in North Korea that is the last major cooperation project between the rival Koreas. (Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT  (The Associated Press)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he will visit a factory park in North Korea that is the last major cooperation project between the rival Koreas.

Ban told reporters in South Korea on Tuesday that he hopes his Kaesong visit on Thursday would help improve ties between the Koreas.

Ban would be the first U.N. chief to visit the factory park and the first to visit North Korea since his predecessor Boutros Boutros-Ghali travelled there in 1993.

The visit comes as relations between the Koreas remain strained following the North's continuation of missile and other weapons tests.

The park, opened in 2004 at the North's border town of Kaesong, has been considered as a test case for unification as it pairs cheap local labor with South Korean knowhow and technology.