Monday, 11 December, 2017

As UN envoy visits, a look at N.Korea's diplomatic pipelines

UN Official Begins Rare Diplomatic Mission to North Korea United Nations begins four-day visit to North Korea amid rising nuclear tensions
Charlie Simmons | 07 December, 2017, 03:04

Hopes of China making a difference by wielding its considerable economic influence over its neighbor dimmed after a special envoy sent by President Xi Jinping in November failed to secure a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

On Monday, the US and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise - maneuvers slammed by Pyongyang as an "all-out provocation". -South Korea joint air force exercise involving hundreds of fighter jets and tens of thousands of troops.

An official of the USA state department said it was "aware" of the planned trip when asked if Washington backed the visit, reported Reuters.

Feltman will be in the country till Friday for a wide-ranging discussion on policy issues with North Korean authorities and analyse "issues of mutual interest and concern", Efe news quoted Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying on Monday night.

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The last United Nations undersecretary-general for political affairs to visit North Korea was B. Lynn Pascoe in February 2010.

North Korea invited Feltman for a "policy dialogue" when Ri was in NY in September for the U.N. General Assembly, according to a U.N. spokesman. 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 global community. His trip comes about a week after North Korea test-fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that it says is capable of hitting the entire United States.

Over the weekend Trump's National Security Adviser HR McMaster told a security forum that the potential for war with the North "is increasing every day".

China's foreign ministry today said it "welcomes the United Nations to play a constructive role in properly settling the Korean peninsula nuclear issue".

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