UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

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.

Feltman is now in Beijing reinforcing contacts with Chinese authorities. -South Korea joint air force exercise involving hundreds of fighter jets and tens of thousands of troops.

Dujarric said Pyongyang issued an invitation for Feltman to visit back in September, during the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. A delegation headed by State Department Special Representative Joseph Yun flew to Pyongyang to oversee the release of American college student Otto Warmbier in June this year.

Feltman's trip marks the first high-ranking visit to the North by a United Nations official since his predecessor Lynn Pascoe traveled there in February 2010 and former United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos visited the North in October 2011.

China, which is Pyongyang's sole major diplomatic and military ally, has called on the United States to freeze military drills and North Korea to halt weapons tests to calm tensions.

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Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump have traded insults and engaged in escalating rhetoric in recent months.

He also said that there were no plans for Guterres to visit North Korea, though next week he will make an official visit to Japan.

Pyongyang sent tensions soaring on the Korean Peninsula five days ago when it announced it had successfully test-fired a new ICBM, which it says brings the whole of the continental United States within range. 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.

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

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