UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

Feltman is also expected to meet Foreign Minister Ri Yong
Feltman is also expected to meet Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and with the UN staff based in the North Korean capital during his four-day trip

06 December, 2017

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday that UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will travel to Pyongyang Tuesday to discuss "issues of mutual interest and concern" with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and others.

Dujarric added that Feltman's visit comes in response to an invitation that has been pending for some time, and which aims to maintain a dialogue between Pyongyang and the UN. Asked about Feltman's visit, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said that "while our focus remains on finding a peaceful diplomatic solution, the reality is that the regime has shown no interest in credible negotiations". 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.

In a separate message to staff, Cathay general manager Mark Hoey said the crew described seeing the missile "blow up and fall apart", The South China Morning Post reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, have traded insults and engaged in escalating rhetoric in recent months.

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During his four-day trip, Feltman will reportedly meet United Nations staff and foreign diplomats in the North and visit the sites of United Nations programs.

On Monday, the US and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise - maneuvers slammed by Pyongyang as an "all-out provocation".

Some Trump advisers say United States 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. Last week's missile landed in Japan's economic waters.

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