U.N. says N. Korea trip by Ban's aide 'fruitful'

NEW YORK, July 11 (Yonhap) -- A recent trip by the special sports adviser to the United Nations secretary-general was "fruitful" as it is expected to help lay the groundwork for promoting sports exchanges, a U.N. official said.

Wilfried Lemke, special adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, wrapped up a four-day visit to North Korea on Tuesday.

"During his mission, Wilfried Lemke met with the Minister of Sport and Chairman of the National Olympic Committee and other officials," Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said at a press briefing, according to a formal transcript released Thursday.

Lemke earlier said he plans to report his findings to Ban and follow up on the issues raised during the mission.

Ban, formerly a South Korean foreign minister, has constantly stated that he is willing to play any role in efforts to bring lasting peace to the peninsula.

He said he would visit North Korea under appropriate circumstances.

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