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06 December 2017, 12:46 | Terri Saunders
Senior UN official to visit North Korea for first time in 6 years
U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, center, poses with two unidentified accompanying colleagues upon arrival at the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.
Feltman is set to discuss a wide range of "issues of mutual interest and concern" with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and other high-ranking officials, a United Nations spokesman said Monday.
The visit came as tensions further escalate on the Korean Peninsula following the latest ballistic missile launch by DPRK and an on-going U.S.
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. 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.
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.
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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.
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".
This is the first visit for a United Nations under-secretary to the DPRK since 2011.
Some Trump advisers say USA military options are limited when Pyongyang could launch an artillery barrage on the South Korean capital - only around 50 kilometres from the heavily-fortified border and home to 10 million people.
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