21 February 2008The United Nations political chief and one of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s top advisers have begun a visit to Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russia to discuss a range of UN-related issues with senior officials in the three countries. B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, accompanied by Mr. Ban’s Deputy Chef de Cabinet and Special Adviser Kim Won-soo, left New York last night at the request of the Secretary-General, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.Mr. Pascoe and Mr. Kim are scheduled to hold high-level consultations in Tokyo tomorrow with Japanese officials, where they will express Mr. Ban’s appreciation for the country’s strong support of UN activities, especially in the wake of Japan’s recent financial contribution of $1.06 billion to the world body’s operations.In the Republic of Korea, the two UN officials will represent Mr. Ban at the inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak on Monday and convey the Secretary-General’s personal greetings. They will also discuss issues of mutual interest with the new leadership in Seoul.Mr. Pascoe will then continue to Moscow for high-level consultations with Russian officials on a range of UN issues, Ms. Montas added.