During a four-day visit to North Korea that started Tuesday, Feltman will meet with officials, including Ri, to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern and visit United Nations project sites, according foreign media reports. The talks follow North Korea's statement that the endless military drills on its borders and "bellicose remarks" by top USA officials could "provoke" a nuclear war in the region.
Before the meeting took place, the North Korean official expressed his hope that the discussion would be "full of sincerity", Kyodo News reported. He is also expected to meet Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and with the United Nations staff based in the North Korean capital.
North Korea's official news agency Wednesday quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman strongly criticising senior USA administration officials' "bellicose remarks" and the ongoing military exercises. Six UN agencies, with approximately 50 global staff, are represented in the North. "He's not traveling on behalf of the USA government and he's not traveling -I want to make this clear - with any kind of message from the US government".
While seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue, the Trump administration continues to call for more pressure on North Korea.
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The visit by Feltman follows the dispatch last month by China of its highest-level envoy to North Korea in two years.
"The remaining question now is: when will the war break out", it said.
Feltman's visit comes amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula.