United Nations official did not carry U.S. gov't message to NK: State Department

Jeffrey Feltman

Jeffrey Feltman

Feltman's visit comes after the outrage sparked by the Kim Jong-Un regime over its latest ballistic missile trial on November 28. Twelve thousand service members and 230 aircraft, including stealth fighters and bombers, are participating in the drills, during which allied air assets will conduct simulated strikes on hundreds of mock North Korean targets, such as nuclear and missile sites, as well as mobile missiles.

An official of the U.S. state department said it was "aware" of the planned trip when asked if Washington backed the visit, reported Reuters.

The North Korean official, Pak Myong Guk, and Feltman discussed bilateral cooperation and other issues of mutual interest, the KCNA news agency reported.

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The last visit by a senior United Nations official was when Valerie Amos, then United Nations aid chief, travelled to the country in October 2011.

"If the diplomatic effort is successful, then they will certainly be able to exercise some persuasion".

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. In response, U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened more unilateral sanctions, but so far, no resolution from the UN Security Council has been forthcoming. His trip comes about a week after North Korea test-fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that it says is capable of hitting the entire United States.

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South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it hopes the United Nations chief will "convey the resolve and commitment of the worldwide community's in stopping the North's threats and provocations".

But some Trump advisers say U.S. military options are limited when Pyongyang could launch an artillery barrage on the South Korean capital - only around 50 kilometres from the heavily-fortified border and home to 10 million people.

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