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Senior UN official meets NKorea’s deputy foreign minister

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Senior UN official meets NKorea's deputy foreign minister

The Associated Press
U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, left, talks with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The senior United Nations official is on a four-day visit to the country at the invitation of the North Korean government. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

A senior United Nations official met with North Korea's vice foreign minister on Wednesday, the first full day of a four-day trip to Pyongyang.

It was not immediately clear what Jeffrey Feltman, the U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, discussed with Vice Minister Pak Myong Guk.

Feltman, an American citizen and former State Department official, arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday. A U.N. spokesman said he was to have a wide range of talks in Pyongyang during his stay, but did not elaborate.

Feltman is the first person in his position to visit Pyongyang since 2010.

He is also expected to meet Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and with the U.N. staff based in the North Korean capital.

Although Feltman does not represent the United States, hopes are high that visits by him or other diplomats — a senior Chinese official visited last month — might help relieve tensions that have been growing amid threats and taunts between Pyongyang and Washington.

North Korean officials rarely brief the media on the content of discussions with foreign dignitaries. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said they do not expect to update the media on Feltman's visit until it is concluded.

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

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