United Nations official did not carry USA gov't message to NK: State Department

UN Political Chief to Visit N. Korea

The United Nations aims to draw Pyongyang back to the negotiating table by sending a high-ranking official to the reclusive state, but whether the visit will produce any concessions from North Korea remains unclear. They are expected to discuss a wide range of issues.

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.

Feltman will also meet with the heads of various U.N. humanitarian programs operating in North Korea, including UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the U.N. Population Fund.

Though Feltman previously worked for the State Department, he is not representing the US government. Reuters 1246 "The visit is a response to a long-standing invitation from the authorities in Pyongyang for policy dialogue with the U.N. We were able to confirm the visit last Thursday, November 30th".

Feltman's visit comes amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Over the weekend, Pyongyang countered that Washington was "begging for nuclear war" as the North blasted the joint US- South Korean drills.

Mr. Feltman will be meeting North Korea's Foreign Minister and Vice President, but it is still not clear whether he will hold talks with North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong Un.

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.

Six U.N. agencies, with approximately 50 global staff, are represented in North Korea.

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