North Korea: Urgent need to open channels, United Nations says after visit

A tracked missile transporter. Wikimedia  Stefan Krasowski

A tracked missile transporter. Wikimedia Stefan Krasowski

After the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Mr Feltman met senior North Koreans all agreed "the current situation was the most tense and risky peace and security issue in the world today", according to the statement.

The United States and South Korea conducted large-scale military drills this week, which the North said have made the outbreak of war "an established fact".

Ri held a conversation with Feltman, who also paid a courtesy visit to the Supreme People's Assembly (North Korea's Parliament).

Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Vice Minister Pak Myong Guk, diplomats and United Nations staff during his stay.

State media said Feltman's visit "contributed to deepening the understanding between the DPRK and the U.N. Secretariat".

Feltman's visit came right after the US and South Korea launched their biggest-ever, annual joint air exercises.

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The UN official was scheduled to meet other representatives of the North Korean regime to discuss matters of mutual interest and concerns.

North Korea's official news agency on Wednesday quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman strongly criticizing senior USA administration officials' "bellicose remarks" and the ongoing military exercises.

KCNA stated Feltman visited a children's food plant and listened to explanations regarding the "commendable transformation of the factory into a modern food and beverage production base".

"The tense situation of the peninsula is entirely ascribable to the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat and blackmail against North Korea".

Feltman was expected to leave Pyongyang on a North Korean Air Koryo passenger jet to land in Beijing on Saturday. The North recently launched its most advanced missile to date and the US and South Korea are now holding joint exercises with some of the world's most powerful fighter aircraft.

North Korea is pursuing nuclear and missile weapons programs in defiance of United Nations sanctions and global condemnation.

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