Officials from UN, North Korea agree situation is risky

North Korea: US military drills likely aimed at provoking the North, Russian minister says

The last senior United Nations official to visit North Korea was emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos in October 2011, according to the UN.

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

The move by Seoul, its second set of unilateral sanctions in a month, was created to cut off global sources of funding for North Korea's nuclear missile programme, a foreign ministry official in Seoul said.

Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, the UN's undersecretary general for political affairs, arrived in Beijing Saturday after wrapping up a five-day visit to Pyongyang aimed at defusing the crisis, just a week after North Korea said it test-fired a new ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.

Feltman, who left Pyongyang earlier today, has yet to comment on his trip.

Though the North's state media are prone to publishing alarmist rhetoric, North Korean authorities have regularly criticised the United Nations for its sanctions resolutions, insisting Pyongyang has the sovereign right to test missiles, nuclear devices and launch satellites.

Pyongyang reiterated its view that these manoeuvres were a provocation on Saturday, accusing the drills of "revealing its intention to mount a surprise nuclear pre-emptive strike against the DPRK", using the acronym for the country's official name.


"In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said the Trump administration still wanted a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the nuclear and missile threat from Pyongyang but said: "(North Korea) has shown through its actions that it is not interested in talks.

Tensions over the North's weapons programme were raised further after a fresh ballistic missile test last week.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the situation on the Korean peninsula had entered a vicious circle of shows of strength and confrontation, and the outlook was not optimistic, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Six UN agencies are represented in North Korea, staffed by a team of about 50 people from across the globe, the UN said in a statement.

There is also a possibility North Korea invited Feltman to request an easing of sanctions, following statements from a North Korean delegation to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or UNIDO, on November 28, condemning the embargoes.

"But at the same time it can be seen that hopes for peace have yet to extinguished".

The measures are in addition to those imposed by the UN Security Council.

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