UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

  • UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

The visit has drawn attention amid escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, especially after its latest long-range missile launch last week.

The unusual visit by Jeffrey Feltman, which begins on Tuesday and runs to Friday, comes less than a week after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile believed capable of reaching the US.

Mr. Feltman's visit to North Korea has added significance because he is expected to travel to China as well as Japan, which covers the three most important countries in the region that play a crucial role in this geopolitical crisis.

Pyongyang ramped up already high tensions on the Korean Peninsula five days ago when it announced it had successfully test-fired a new ICBM, which it says brings the whole of the continental United States within range.

Feltman, a former American diplomat who spent more than three decades at the U.S. Department of State, is the first senior United Nations official to visit the secretive North Korean state since former Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos did so in 2011, CNN reported.

Dujarric said Pyongyang issued an invitation for Feltman to visit back in September, during the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.

Feltman's visit comes less than a week after Pyongyang announced it had successfully test fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the USA mainland.

US President Donald Trump has engaged in months of tit-for-tat rhetoric with Kim, pejoratively dubbing him "Little Rocket Man" and a "sick puppy".

The U.S. and South Korea started joint military drills Monday.

During his four-day trip, Feltman will reportedly meet United Nations staff and foreign diplomats in the North and visit the sites of United Nations programs.