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UN official to arrive in N.Korea for talks

United Nations, Dec 5 (IANS) UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will arrive in North Korea on Tuesday to meet authorities of the Pyongyang regime, according to an official statement.

Feltman will be in the country till Friday for a wide-ranging discussion on policy issues with North Korean authorities and analyse “issues of mutual interest and concern”, Efe news quoted Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying on Monday night.

This is the first time that a high-ranking UN politico will travel to North Korea since former Under Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe’s visit in February 2010 and that of UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos in 2011.

Dujarric added that Feltman’s visit comes in response to an invitation that has been pending for some time, and which aims to maintain a dialogue between Pyongyang and the UN.

Feltman is currently in Beijing reinforcing contacts with Chinese authorities.

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

The spokesman said that the visit was confirmed with Pyongyang authorities on November 30.

He will also speak with diplomats accredited in Pyongyang and with the UN team in North Korea, where six UN agencies operate with some 500 international civil servants.

Dujarric avoided going into detail about the matters to be discussed in those conversations, only saying that a wide range of subjects would be touched upon.

He also said that there were no plans for Guterres to visit North Korea, though next week he will make an official visit to Japan.

Feltman’s visit comes after the outrage sparked by the Kim Jong-Un regime over its latest ballistic missile trial on November 28.

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