United Nations envoy meets North Korean foreign minister

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 global organization, reported the China Daily.

North Korea has agreed to communicate regularly with the United Nations at various levels, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted Pyongyang's state media as saying on Saturday, following a visit by a senior UN official.

Feltman, a former senior U.S. State Department official, arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a five-day visit.

The Federation Council press service reported that during the conversation, the Federation Council committee head and the North Korean ambassador to Russia exchanged opinions on the massive drills now conducted by the US and South Korea, as well as on North Korea's missile nuclear program. Feltman, who left Pyongyang earlier today, has yet to comment on his trip.

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North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency only reported Ri met with Feltman, without providing any information about what they discussed.

There is also a possibility North Korea invited Feltman to request an easing of sanctions, following statements from a North Korean delegation to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or UNIDO, on November 28, condemning the embargoes. He met North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and visited United Nations project sites amid heightened tensions sparked by the North's Nov 29 test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that it claims is capable of striking anywhere on the USA mainland. But US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert expressed a somewhat different perspective during the daily press briefing on December 7.

Analysts in South Korea say the visit is a significant gesture for North Korea.

Haley said that with the missile launch, North Korean leader Kim has made a choice "that brings the world closer to war, not farther from it".

  • Megan Austin