PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) _ Embarking on a journey that seemed highly improbable just a few months ago, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arrived in North Korea early Monday in hopes of advancing her goal of a tension-free Northeast Asia for the first time in decades.

No other secretary of state has visited North Korea and none of Albright's predecessors had even considered the idea because of the grim state of the relationship.