Senior UN official to visit North Korea this week

Lakruwan Wanniarachchi  AFP  Getty

North Korea conducted its third intercontinental ballistic missile test last Tuesday, demonstrating a theoretical ability to strike targets across all of the continental U.S. In response, the South carried out precision strike missile drills involving all three main branches of the South Korean military.

A United Nations delegation led by UN under-secretary-general for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman (C), arrives in Pyongyang, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Dec. 5, 2017.

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.

The United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, will travel to North Korea on Tuesday for political talks.

Feltman arrived in China as Beijing is one of the few transit points to North Korea in the world.

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The U.N. earlier said Feltman will discuss "issues of mutual interest and concern" with North Korean government officials.

Pyongyang sent tensions soaring 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 USA within range.

Trump announced on November 20 that the United States was returning North Korea to the list of state sponsors of terrorism and promised to intensify a campaign of "maximum pressure" and sanctions as part of a rolling effort to compel Kim's government to negotiate over its nuclear program.

North Korean state media has hit back with a flurry of its own colourful insults, calling Trump a "dotard", a "frightened dog" and a "gangster". Last week's missile landed in Japan's economic waters.

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