During a visit to Pyongyang last week, UN official Jeffrey Feltman met with North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho and vice minister Pak Myong Guk where an “urgent need to prevent miscalculations and open channels to reduce the risks of conflict” was emphasised.
Describing the visit, the UN said: “He also said there can only be a diplomatic solution to the situation, achieved through a process of sincere dialogue. Time is of the essence.
“They agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today.”
Mr Feltman stated that UN Security Council resolutions should be implemented and that nations across the globe are committed to achieving a peaceful solution to rising tensions that have pushed the US and North Korea closer to World War 3.
Despite a plethora of UN sanctions being thrown at the hermit kingdom, Kim Jong-un has continued to instil fear into the international community with provocative missile tests, the most recent of which was the country’s most powerful.
Following the meeting, Kim Jong-un’s puppet news agency, KCNA, appeared to express a willingness to work with the UN to ease world tensions.
It said: “The United Nations expressed concerns over the heightened situation on the Korean peninsula and expressed willingness to work on easing tensions on the Korean peninsula in accordance with the UN Charter which is based on international peace and security.”
The agency added that both Mr Feltman and Pyongyang officials agreed the four day visit helped to deepen the understandings between the two and expressed a need to communicate regularly.
The UN official did not speak to reporters following his arrival at Beijing airport from Pyongyang on Saturday morning.
Despite the seemingly positive outcome of the meeting, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi stated that the emphasis on displaying strength and confrontation did not leave him feeling optimistic.
He added: “But at the same time it can be seen that hopes for peace have yet to extinguished. The prospects for negotiations still exist, and the option of resorting to force cannot be accepted.”
The US is also pushing for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean problem with secretary of state Rex Tillerson displaying an eagerness to communicate with Kim Jong-un during a speech to the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank yesterday.
He said: “Let’s just meet.
“We can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table.
“Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards.
“We’re ready to have the first meeting without pre-conditions.
“It’s not realistic to say we’re only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program.
“They have too much invested in it. The President is very realistic about that as well.”
Mr Tillerson also emphasised the US was “ready to talk anytime they’re ready to talk”.