“Time is of the essence” to find a diplomatic solution to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the UN’s political chief told North Korea’s foreign minister during a visit to Pyongyang this week, a spokesman said Saturday.

Jeffrey Feltman, the highest-ranking UN official to visit the reclusive communist state since February 2010, had a series of meetings with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and his deputy Pak Myong Guk in the trip which ran from Tuesday to Friday.

Kim Jong Un: North Korea threatens the United States

Both parties agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today, the UN said in a statement.

Feltman’s visit follows last month’s launch by North Korea of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang said could reach the entire US mainland.

But a UN spokesman stressed before Feltman set off that the invitation was extended on the sidelines of the UN’s General Assembly in October, and was not in reaction to the latest provocation.

Feltman emphasized to Pyongyang the need to respect Security Council resolutions and said there can only be a diplomatic solution through “sincere dialogue.”

He underscored the international community’s commitment to achieving a peaceful solution, the statement said.

Feltman also met with the UN’s staff on the ground and visited UN project sites including a paediatric hospital, a tuberculosis prevention institute, a breast tumour institute and a children’s foodstuff factory.

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Source: Vanguard News

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‘Time is of the essence,’ UN warns North Korea
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