Monday, 11 December, 2017

United Nations official to arrive in N.Korea for talks

Senior UN official to visit North Korea UN announces Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images
Sammy Stanley | 06 December, 2017, 00:23

The U.S. apparently signaled approval of Feltman's trip and presumably is keeping an eye out for the North's response.

The United Nations aims to draw Pyongyang back to the negotiating table by sending a high-ranking official to the reclusive state, but whether the visit will produce any concessions from North Korea remains unclear.

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. 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.

The U.N.is responding to a "long-standing invitation" from Pyongyang, but the visit comes at a time of great tension on the Korean Peninsula.

A Cathay Pacific crew spotted what was "suspected to be the re-entry" of the missile as they flew from San Francisco to Hong Kong, the airline said. The spokesperson added that the Under-Secretary will meet with some of the 50 members of staff working for the 6 United Nations agencies in North Korea, and will visit some of the United Nations projects himself. The launch heightened tensions between the North and the United States, highlighted by months of insults between the regime and President Donald Trump.

On Monday, the US and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise - maneuvers slammed by Pyongyang as an "all-out provocation". Last week's missile landed in Japan's economic waters.

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