UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea


On Monday, the United States and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise - maneuvers slammed by Pyongyang as an "all-out provocation".

Feltman, an American citizen and former State Department official, arrived in Pyongyang yesterday.

The UN confirmed that he will be staying for four days, and will meet with several senior North Korean officials, including foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, and vice-minister Pak Myong Guk.

Feltman, a former U.S. State Department official, is the first senior United Nations official to travel to North Korea since then-humanitarian chief Valerie Amos visited in 2011.

Dujarric added that Feltman's visit comes in response to an invitation that has been pending for some time, and which aims to maintain a dialogue between Pyongyang and the UN.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries are holding a major air force exercise and just last week Pyongyang test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts say could hit Washington.

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It will be Feltman's first visit to North Korea since he took office five years ago.

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Analysts say it is unclear whether the missile survived re-entry into the earth's atmosphere or could successfully deliver a warhead to its target - key technological hurdles for Pyongyang.

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".

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September, Trump threatened "to totally destroy North Korea" if the U.S.is forced to defend itself or its allies and he later tweeted that Kim — whom he called "little rocket man" — "won't be around much longer".

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