Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Senior UN official meets North Korea 's deputy foreign minister

Senior UN official meets North Korea 's deputy foreign minister

The UN confirmed that he will be staying for four days, and will meet with several senior North Korean officials, including foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, and vice-minister Pak Myong Guk.

The UN's political chief will visit North Korea this week for talks with officials, amid heightened tensions over the North's latest ballistic missile test.

Feltman, a former senior U.S. State Department official, is the highest-level United Nations official to visit North Korea since 2012. In response, U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened more unilateral sanctions, but so far, no resolution from the UN Security Council has been forthcoming.

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The spokesman noted that Guterres has repeatedly said "his good offices are always available if the parties want".

On Monday, he met Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong, and from Beijing he will go directly to the North Korean capital.

It may take a while to find out exactly what is being discussed during Jeffrey Feltman's visit this week.

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China's foreign ministry today said it "welcomes the United Nations to play a constructive role in properly settling the Korean peninsula nuclear issue".

Jeffrey Feltman's visit - the first by a UN diplomat of his rank since 2010 - comes less than a week after North Korea said it test-fired a new ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States. But he said the invitation wasn't issued until November 30.

Dujarric said six U.N. agencies, with approximately 50 worldwide staff, are represented in North Korea — the U.N. Development Program, the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the U.N. Population Fund.

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The visit by Feltman follows the dispatch last month by China of its highest-level envoy to North Korea in two years.

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