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Senior UN Official in North Korea for Talks

Senior UN Official in North Korea for Talks”

It's not immediately known what the two discussed but Korean Peninsula issues, including the North's nuclear and missile programs, are expected to have been on the agenda.

Both the UN delegation and the North Korean representatives acknowledged that Feltman's visit contributed to deepening the understanding between North Korea and the UN Secretariat, and both sides agreed to maintain communications through visits at different levels on a regular basis in the future, North Korea's state-owned news agency added.

The rare trip to North Korea by a high-ranking U.N. official comes as tensions continue to mount in the region after the country test-fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that it says is capable of striking anywhere in the United States. Chinese experts said Feltman's visit is "necessary and constructive" to ease heightening tensions on the peninsula, and it will help magnify the UN's role in resolving the peninsula's nuclear issue as an worldwide organization, reported the China Daily.

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"I would give an enthusiastic welcome to your Pyongyang visit", Ri, North Korea's former top nuclear negotiator who became foreign minister past year, told U.N. Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.

Feltman was a leading official in the U.S. State Department from 2009-12, before moving to the UN.

Pyongyang is seeking USA recognition as a nuclear weapons state.

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The message comes amid a mixture of hardline and more moderate positions on Pyongyang within the Trump administration since North Korea's ICBM test launch on November 29.

On Wednesday, he met with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong-guk and Russian Ambassador to Pyongyang Alexander Matsegora.

This alleged readiness for talks comes at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.

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"North Korea has confirmed that Pyongyang is not interested in escalation of the conflict or military action, but it is not afraid of war, as it was formulated in yesterday's statement of [North Korea's] Ministry of Foreign Affairs", Kosachev said.



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