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Senior UN official leaves North Korea after rare visit

Senior UN official leaves North Korea after rare visit Senior UN official leaves North Korea after rare visit
Patty Aguilar | 11 December, 2017, 00:21

Our top story this afternoon North Korea and the United Nations have reportedly agreed to hold regular conversations on a variety of issues. Feltman, who left Pyongyang earlier today, has yet to comment on his trip. In their last test on November 29, North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that had a range of hitting anywhere in the United States.

Last month's missile test prompted a USA warning that North Korea's leadership would be "utterly destroyed" if war were to break out.

The new sanctions, which will go into effect Monday, come as the global community puts greater pressure on the reclusive regime that has threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction.

The U.S. and South Korean exercises, however, came a week after North Korea test-fired a powerful new intercontinental ballistic missile that experts say is capable of reaching the U.S. The new ICBM is one of several missile tests conducted by Pyongyang, along with a series of nuclear tests, in defiance of global sanctions.

The measures are in addition to those imposed by the UN Security Council. North Korean state media said Saturday that UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who was in the North this week, also expressed a willingness to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.

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The listed individuals include Kim Su-kwang, a North Korean intelligence agent based in Belarus; Kim Kyong-Hyok, a First Credit Bank representative in Shanghai; Pak Chol-nam, a First Credit Bank representative in Beijing; Ri Ho-nam, a Ryugyong Commercial Bank representative in Beijing; and Ji Sang-jun, an official of Korea Kumgang Group Bank in Moscow.

Feltman emphasised the need for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions and that the worldwide community was committed to achieving a peaceful solution.

North Korean state media earlier said current tensions were "entirely ascribable to the USA hostile policy". "We will view the maritime blockade by the United States and their allies as an act of aggression against North Korea's sovereignty and as yet another official declaration of war", the Rodong Sinmun, which is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers' Party, said Sunday.

Despite calls from other world leaders for restraint, this year has seen US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hurl insults at each other, both at one time saying the other was mad.

North Korea argues nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it.

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