World As UN envoy visits, a look at N.Korea's diplomatic pipelines

07:50  07 december  2017
07:50  07 december  2017 Source:   Associated Press

Tillerson: I'll keep advocating diplomacy with N. Korea 'until the first bomb drops'

  Tillerson: I'll keep advocating diplomacy with N. Korea 'until the first bomb drops' Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated his stance Tuesday that diplomacy with North Korea is possible, telling a group of world leaders that he would continue pursuing diplomatic solutions "until the first bomb drops."Speaking at the Atlantic Council Korea Foundation Forum, Tillerson said that he would continue to search for diplomatic solutions with Pyongyang but stressed that Defense Secretary James Mattis is prepared should war break out.

Here is a look at other delegations North Korea has hosted recently, and some other ways it is engaging with the outside world that don't involve launching long-range ballistic missiles. The official, Song Tao, visited as Chinese President Xi Jinping' s special envoy .

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U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, left, talks with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The senior United Nations official is on a four-day visit to the country at the invitation of the North Korean government. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon) © The Associated Press U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, left, talks with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The senior United Nations official is on a four-day visit to the country at the invitation of the North Korean government. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

TOKYO — North Korea's decision to hold talks with a senior United Nations official, who is also an American citizen and former U.S. diplomat, presents a rare opportunity for both sides to sound each other out in the increasingly isolated North Korean capital.

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It may take a while to find out exactly what is being discussed during Jeffrey Feltman's visit this week. North Korea almost never discloses the details of its discussions with foreign delegations, and the U.N. says it doesn't plan to brief the media until after Feltman, its undersecretary-general for political affairs, completes his four-day visit.

Here is a look at other delegations North Korea has hosted recently, and some other ways it is engaging with the outside world that don't involve launching long-range ballistic missiles.

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THE CHINESE ENVOY — China last month sent its highest-level envoy in two years. His official mission was to brief North Korean officials on the outcome of the recent congress of China's ruling Communist Party. The official, Song Tao, visited as Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy. He met with Choe Ryong Hae, one of North Korea's most senior leaders after Kim Jong Un. China's relations with North Korea have deteriorated under Kim, who has ignored Beijing's calls to end the North's nuclear and missile tests and return to disarmament talks. The visit was seen as an effort by Xi to explore a new approach in relations and his desire to head off further pressure from Washington to take stricter action against Kim's nuclear program.

White House says not right time for N. Korea talks, despite Tillerson overture

  White House says not right time for N. Korea talks, despite Tillerson overture No negotiations can be held with North Korea until it improves its behavior, a White House official said on Wednesday."Given North Korea's most recent missile test, clearly right now is not the time (for negotiations)," the White House National Security Council spokesman told Reuters.

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Here is a look at other delegations North Korea has hosted recently, and some other ways it is engaging with the outside world that don't involve launching long-range ballistic missiles. The official, Song Tao, visited as Chinese President Xi Jinping' s special envoy .

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WASHINGTON'S RESCUE — Efforts by the U.S. State Department to obtain access to four Americans held in North Korean jails, including secret talks in Norway, led to a mission by special envoy Joseph Yun in June to retrieve college student Otto Warmbier. Yun was allowed to travel to North Korea to bring back Warmbier, who had fallen into a coma and was in critical condition. Warmbier, who entered North Korea as a tourist, had been sentenced to 15 years for trying to steal a propaganda banner. He died just days after arriving bank in the United States. President Donald Trump declared a ban on most travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea because of Warmbier's case and concerns about Americans' safety.

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EXCHANGES WITH MOSCOW — Though it didn't get much attention in the West, Choe Son Hui, the head of the North America desk at North Korea's Foreign Ministry, traveled to Russia in September and attended a non-proliferation conference in Moscow in October. A Russian political delegation visited North Korea in early October, and the head of Russian state-owned news agency TASS visited North Korea for the 69th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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OTHER CHANNELS — According to the U.S. State Department, Washington and Pyongyang do have a pipeline known as the "New York channel" for communication, though it's unclear how much either side has utilized it as tensions have ratcheted higher lately. Also, a trickle of low-profile delegations from around the world still arrive in the North Korean capital, while the North sends its own abroad.

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Talmadge is the AP's Pyongyang bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at erictalmadge.

North Korean Submarine Missile Threat Prompts U.S.-Led Military Drills .
<p>Amid fears that North Korea is rapidly developing its submarine-launched ballistic missile technology, the United States, Japan and South Korea are teaming up for a drill to track such hard-to-detect missiles, military officials said Monday.</p>The drill is taking place over two days in waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and will involve destroyers from the three nations doing computer-simulated training to track submarine missile launchings by North Korea.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/world/-104771-as-un-envoy-visits-a-look-at-n-koreas-diplomatic-pipelines/

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