Location China China

DPRK: UN official stresses urgency of reducing tensions

In this Dec 9, 2017 photo, UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, center, arrives at an airport in Beijing, China. Feltman met Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and had two sessions of talks with Vice-Foreign Minister Pak Myong-guk during his four-day visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and left Pyongyang on Dec 9, 2017. (MINORU IWASAKI/KYODO NEWS VIA AP)

The UN’s political chief on Saturday stressed the urgency of reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula as he wrapped up his four-day visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

“There can only be a diplomatic solution to the situation, achieved through a process of sincere dialogue,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said in a press release.

“Time is of the essence.”

Pyongyang said Feltman’s visit helped promote understanding between the DPRK and the UN Secretariat.

Feltman arrived in the DPRK on Tuesday in a rare four-day visit at the invitation of Pyongyang for a “wide-ranging” discussion on policy issues “of mutual interest and concern.”

The highest-level UN official to visit the DPRK in more than six years, Feltman had a series of meetings with Minister for Foreign Affairs Ri Yong-ho and Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Pak Myong-guk, according to the press release.

“They exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula and agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today,” it said.

“Mr Feltman emphasized the need for the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions,” it added.

Noting the urgent need to prevent miscalculations and open channels to reduce the risks of conflict, Feltman underlined that the international community, alarmed by escalating tensions, is committed to the achievement of a peaceful solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, said the release.

During his visit, Feltman also met with the United Nations Country Team and members of the diplomatic corps, and visited UN project sites including a children’s foodstuff factory, TB prevention institute, breast tumor institute, and pediatric hospital.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said both sides acknowledged that the visit “contributed to promoting trust between the two sides” and that they “agreed to have regular exchanges of opinions through frequent exchanges of visits at various levels.”

The current tense situation on the peninsula “is entirely ascribable to the US hostile policy and nuclear threat and blackmail against the DPRK,” reads the release, which also condemned the US-Republic of Korea (ROK) joint military drills.

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