Senior North Korean diplomat meets United Nations political affairs chief

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Feltman is the most senior United Nations official to visit the North in more than six years since his predecessor Lynn Pascoe visited in February 2010 and former United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos in October 2011.

The Associated Press said that Jeffrey Feltman, UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, met with Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on the second day of his visit.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has said Feltman is not visiting Pyongyang on behalf of Washington. Feltman arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a four-day visit, Yonhap reported.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley urged all countries to completely cut ties with North Korea in an emergency meeting of the 15-member Security Council last week that followed the country's third ICBM test.

The spokesman said that the political chief would address "issues of mutual interest and concern" with North Korean officials, leading to anticipation that the visit could defuse geopolitical tensions. It wasn't clear what progress, if any, was made during that visit to ease a rift that has also been widening between Beijing and Pyongyang.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres had, on several occasions, expressed his willingness to broker talks between North Korea and the worldwide community.

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