Korea foreign minister meets senior United Nations official in Pyongyang


The Associated Press said that Jeffrey Feltman, UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, met with Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on the second day of his visit.

"I would give an enthusiastic welcome to your Pyongyang visit", Ri, North Korea's former top nuclear negotiator who became foreign minister previous year, told U.N. Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.

Feltman's visit to the North was made known in Pyongyang's state media on Friday, South Korean television network SBS reported.

The Federation Council press service reported that during the conversation, the Federation Council committee head and the North Korean ambassador to Russia exchanged opinions on the massive drills now conducted by the US and South Korea, as well as on North Korea's missile nuclear program.

The KCNA reported that North Korea told UN officials that current situation on the Korean Peninsula is due to the United States' threat and its wish to launch a nuclear attack against North Korea first. The North recently launched its most advanced missile to date and the USA and South Korea are now holding joint exercises with some of the world's most powerful fighter aircraft.

Feltman was expected to leave Pyongyang on a North Korean Air Koryo passenger jet to land in Beijing on Saturday.

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The Chinese are praising Feltman's visit to North Korea.

On Wednesday, Feltman discussed assistance of United Nations agencies to North Korea and other issues of mutual interest with the country's Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk, according to KCNA.

He made the rare visit at the invitation of Pyongyang amid heightened tensions sparked by the North's November 29 test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that it claims is capable of striking anywhere on the US mainland.

"We have channels, through which we are conducting a dialogue, and we are ready to deploy them, we are ready to exert our influence on North Korea", Morgulov was quoted as saying at a conference in Berlin.

Pyongyang is seeking US recognition as a nuclear weapons state.