Senior North Korean diplomat meets United Nations political affairs chief

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Foreign news media report that a senior United Nations official on a rare high-level visit to North Korea held talks with the North's foreign minister on Thursday.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho (R) meets U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman in Pyongyang on December 7, 2017, in this photo released by the North's Korean Central News Agency.

The Federation Council press service reported that during the conversation, the Federation Council committee head and the North Korean ambassador to Russia exchanged opinions on the massive drills now conducted by the USA and South Korea, as well as on North Korea's missile nuclear program.

The North Korean official, Pak Myong Guk, and Feltman discussed bilateral cooperation and other issues of mutual interest, the KCNA news agency reported. Six U.N. agencies, with about 50 global staff, are represented in the North.

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His visit comes amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile launch last Wednesday.

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.

Feltman was a leading official in the U.S. State Department from 2009-12, before moving to the UN. Although not representing the USA on this mission, it could be seen playing a role in the very active diplomacy now going on behind the scenes between Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea and the Trump Administration.

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