Special adviser to UN secretary-general visits North Korea on sports diplomacy mission

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A special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is visiting North Korea on an unusual sports diplomacy mission.

Wilfried Lemke, who serves as a special adviser on sport for development and peace, arrived Saturday for a four-day visit.

Among the sites he is expected to visit is a new ski resort under construction in the Masik Valley near the eastern North Korean city of Wonsan.

His visit would be the highest-level U.N. visit to North Korea in two years, and takes place in the wake of tightened U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang for carrying out a banned underground nuclear test in February.

Lemke has pushed both Koreas to use sports to promote dialogue and foster peace. North and South Korea have remained divided by a heavily fortified border for 60 years.