Monday, 11 December, 2017

UN Envoy Meets N. Korean Foreign Minister

U.N. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman speaks during a news conference in Colombo   Thomson Reuters U.N. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman speaks during a news conference in Colombo Thomson Reuters
Melinda Barton | 08 December, 2017, 08:21

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho (R) meets U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman in Pyongyang on December 7, 2017, in this photo released by the North's Korean Central News Agency.

It's not immediately known what the two discussed.

Making the highest-level United Nations visit to the North since 2010, Feltman arrived in Pyongyang Tuesday for a four-day visit through Friday. Six UN agencies, with approximately 50 worldwide staff, are represented in the North. The North recently launched its most advanced missile to date and the USA and South Korea are now holding joint exercises with some of the world's most powerful fighter aircraft.

North Korea's decision to hold talks with a senior United Nations official, who is also an American citizen and former USA diplomat, presents a rare opportunity for both sides to sound each other out in the increasingly isolated North Korean capital.

North Korean officials rarely brief the media on the content of discussions with foreign dignitaries.

"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. Although not representing the US on this mission, it could be seen playing a role in the very active diplomacy now going on behind the scenes between Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea and the Trump Administration.