UN Envoy Meets N. Korean Foreign Minister

Report: 49 nations have violated UN sanctions on North Korea

North Korea is not interested in escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, but is not afraid of war, Chairman the Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said after a meeting with North Korea's Ambassador to Russia Kim Hyong-jun.

The UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, on Saturday concluded his five-day visit to North Korea, during which both parties agreed to remain in regular contact.

He arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a stay expected to last four or five days.

There is also a possibility North Korea invited Feltman to request an easing of sanctions, following statements from a North Korean delegation to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or UNIDO, on November 28, condemning the embargoes. The North recently launched its most advanced missile to date and the USA and South Korea are now holding joint exercises with some of the world's most powerful fighter aircraft. He met North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and visited United Nations project sites amid heightened tensions sparked by the North's Nov 29 test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that it claims is capable of striking anywhere on the U.S. mainland.

North Korea invited Feltman for a "policy dialogue" when Ri was in NY in September for the U.N. General Assembly, according to a U.N. spokesman.

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Japan's Kyodo News said the North Korean foreign minister welcomed the United Nations official's visit to Pyongyang.

Indications of North Korea's willingness emerged following a Russian parliamentary delegation visited the North Korean leadership around the end of November.

This alleged readiness for talks comes at a time of heightened tensions between the USA and North Korea.

In comments attributed to an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman, North Korea also claimed high-ranked USA officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, have further confirmed American intent for war with a series of "bellicose remarks".

Pyongyang is seeking USA recognition as a nuclear weapons state.

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