Senior UN official meets North Korea’s deputy foreign minister

Senior UN official meets North Korea’s deputy foreign minister

Pyongyang: A senior United Nations official met with North Korea’s vice foreign minister today, the first full day of a four-day trip to Pyongyang.

It was not immediately clear what Jeffrey Feltman, the UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, discussed with Vice Minister Pak Myong Guk.

Feltman, an American citizen and former State Department official, arrived in Pyongyang yesterday. A UN spokesman said he was to have a wide range of talks in Pyongyang during his stay, but did not elaborate.

Feltman is the first person in his position to visit Pyongyang since 2010.

He is also expected to meet Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and with the UN staff based in the North Korean capital.

Although Feltman does not represent the United States, hopes are high that visits by him or other diplomats, a senior Chinese official visited last month, might help relieve tensions that have been growing amid threats and taunts between Pyongyang and Washington.

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

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said they do not expect to update the media on Feltman’s visit until it is concluded. Six UN agencies, with approximately 50 international staff, are represented in the North.