United Nations faces uphill course to broker North Korea talks

Ebony Scott
December 6, 2017

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.

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.

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said last week that while Washington does not seek war with Pyongyang, "if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed".

On Monday, he met Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong, and from Beijing he will go directly to the North Korean capital.

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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. -South Korea joint air force exercise involving hundreds of fighter jets and tens of thousands of troops. The last person holding Feltman's position to travel to Pyongyang was B. Lynn Pascoe in 2010, the United Nations.

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.

On Monday, the US and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise - maneuvers slammed by Pyongyang as an "all-out provocation". The visit was first said to have been discussed on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, but not confirmed until recently.

The UN envoy is planning to see foreign diplomats and UN workers in the North on humanitarian missions, Dujarric said.

Other reports by GizPress

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