UN officials will visit North Korea

UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman will visit North Korea from Tuesday to Friday to meet with officials and discuss "issues of mutual interest and concern," the United Nations said Monday amid rising tensions in the region. 19659002] Jeffrey Feltman, former senior State Department official, will meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Myong Guk, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"The visit was a response to the invitation of the authorities in Pyongyang for policy dialogue with the UN, "Dujarric told reporters.

" He will also meet the UN Country Team and members of the diplomatic corps, and visit UN projects, "Dujarric told reporters, adding that Feltman will also visit China

The UN says Feltman will become the first senior UN official to travel to Ko North rea since its predecessor Lynn Pascoe visited in February 2010 and former UN help chief Valerie Amos visited in October 2011.

The United States and South Korea are conducting massive air force exercises on Monday, a move that North Korea says will cause the Korean peninsula increasingly "Close to nuclear war." Russia and China want the drill to be canceled

The exercise comes a week after Pyongyang said it has tested the most sophisticated long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching US land. North Korea has been sanctioned by the United Nations since 2006 for its missile and nuclear program.

Dujarric said the invitation of Feltman's trip was proposed by North Korea on the sidelines of the annual meeting of world leaders at the UN New York in September but only confirmed last week

Asked if Feltman paved the way for a visit by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Dujarric said: "We hope there will be another upcoming visit." [vm/jm]

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