Senior UN official leaves North Korea after rare visit

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2017 11:46 PM
Senior UN official leaves North Korea after rare visit

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A senior U.N. official left Pyongyang on Saturday after four days of talks with the North Korean Foreign Ministry.

"I have to brief the secretary general first" was all U.N. Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said when asked for details of his trip.

Feltman met North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Thursday and also had two sessions of talks with Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk.

Feltman, the highest-ranking American in the U.N. secretariat, is the first person in that post to visit North Korea since February 2010. Though Feltman previously worked for the State Department, he is not representing the U.S. government.

North Korea regularly accuses the U.N. of bias, criticizing the U.N. sanctions resolutions that condemn Pyongyang's missile launches and nuclear tests. Pyongyang says those resolutions are illegal, insisting it has the sovereign right to pursue its missile and nuclear programs because of what it sees as a serious threat from the United States.

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North Korea has also recently expressed concern about the latest sanctions affecting the ability of U.N. aid agencies to help the needy in North Korea.

North Korea requested this week's visit, the UN. said.

Six U.N. agencies, with approximately 50 international staff, are represented in North Korea.