Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

UN Official Begins Rare Diplomatic Mission to North Korea

UN Official Begins Rare Diplomatic Mission to North Korea

An official from the South Korean government welcomed the move, saying that the government hopes this opportunity leads North Korea to open dialogue with the worldwide community.

Jeffrey Feltman, undersecretary-general for political affairs, traveled to Pyongyang in response to an invitation by the North for a policy dialogue with the U.N. He is expected to meet with officials including Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

A senior United Nations official who is visiting North Korea was not carrying a message from the US government, the State Department said Tuesday.

Feltman, the highest-ranking American in the U.N. Secretariat, is the first person in that post to visit North Korea since February 2010. Twelve thousand service members and 230 aircraft, including stealth fighters and bombers, are participating in the drills, during which allied air assets will conduct simulated strikes on hundreds of mock North Korean targets, such as nuclear and missile sites, as well as mobile missiles.

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She said: "There are a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation". Officials said he was preparing to call round European Union leaders to get agreement on trade negotiations.

The U.N. earlier said Feltman will discuss "issues of mutual interest and concern" with North Korean government officials.

It will be Feltman's first visit to North Korea since he took office five years ago, and the first by a United Nations under-secretary-general in more than seven years. The spokesperson added that the Under-Secretary will meet with some of the 50 members of staff working for the 6 United Nations agencies in North Korea, and will visit some of the United Nations projects himself.

North Korean state media has hit back with a flurry of its own colourful insults, calling Trump a "dotard", a "frightened dog" and a "gangster".

Some Trump advisers say USA military options are limited when Pyongyang could launch an artillery barrage on the South Korean capital - only around 50 kilometres from the heavily-fortified border and home to 10 million people.

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