United Nations political affairs chief to visit North Korea this week

UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

He will also meet with other diplomats stationed in North Korea and visit United Nations project sites.

During the four-day visit, the United Nations political chief will also confer with United Nations officials and diplomatic corps stationed in North Korea, Dujarric said.

"The visit is in response to a longstanding invitation from the authorities in Pyongyang for policy dialogue with the United Nations", he told reporters, according to multiple news reports.

Feltman's visit will come a week after North Korea test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile apparently capable of striking anywhere on the US mainland.

Although UN officials say the four-day visit was set up back in September, Feltman's trip is timely as it comes less than a week after North Korea fired its most powerful ICBM to date.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang on July 5, 2017. His visit comes as South Korea and the USA conduct their largest ever round of aerial drills.

The BBC's Paul Adams in Seoul says in the absence of any other meaningful diplomatic channels, the United Nations clearly believes it's important to pursue whatever opportunities exist for dialogue.

The last undersecretary-general for political affairs to travel to North Korea was B. Lynn Pascoe in February 2010. North Korea had carried out its latest missile test just two days before, on November 28.

On Monday South Korea and the USA began a five-day air combat exercise, their largest ever involving more than 200 aeroplanes and thousands of troops.

"It is imperative that the countries of the world present North Korea with a unified, unambiguous response to its unlawful provocations".

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