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Senior U.N. official arrives in Pyongyang for talks

Posted December. 06, 2017 07:38,   

Updated December. 06, 2017 09:32


UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Pyongyang for a five-day visit to North Korea on Tuesday afternoon while discussions over imposing additional sanctions against North Korea for launching the ICBM Hwasong-15 are making slow progress. Some view that the former U.S. deputy state secretary’s visit to the North implies the United Nations’ role as a mediator for talks between North Korea and the United States, which China failed. Mr. Feltman is expected to visit high-ranking officials of North Korea, which shall become an opportunity to confirm‎ North Korea’s willingness to engage in talks with the international society.

“I will discuss issues of mutual interest and concern with North Korean officials,” the senior UN official said on Monday (local time). Mr. Feltman arrived in Beijing on Sunday and discussed North Korea issues with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong.

Feltman’s visit has been reportedly propelled by the invitation from North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, who participated at the United Nations General Assembly held in September. The visit to the North did not happen right away, however, due to opposition of Washington arguing that North Korea is trying to draw the United Nations in order to appeal about the unfairness of the sanctions. This time, however, the United States has also been positive towards Feltman’s visit to North Korea.

Jeong-Hun Park sunshade@donga.com