United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will visit Pyongyang this week and may meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Yonhap News reported, citing a U.N. official it did not identify.

Ban's earlier plan to visit North Korea was canceled at the last minute in May, prompting him to express regret. The former South Korean foreign minister has said in the past he is willing to go to North Korea to help ease tensions on the peninsula. Ban's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, declined comment on the Yonhap report.

"It would be a symbolic trip that helps foster an atmosphere for talks," Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said by phone. "Lots of topics could be on the table, from North Korean human rights issues to the nuclear problem to inter-Korean relations."