North Korea, UN Agree to Communicate Regularly

The UN's Jeffrey Feltman during talks in Pyongyang

"At these meetings, our side said the USA policy of hostility toward the DPRK [North Korea] and its nuclear blackmail are to blame for the current tense situation on the Korean peninsula", the report said.

Ri and Feltman "agreed that the current situation was the most tense and risky peace and security issue in the world today", the United Nations said in a statement.

Between Pyongyang's test-firing of a new inter-continental ballistic missile at the end of November (which it says brings the whole of the continental United States within range), and Donald Trump's tit-for-tat threat of completely destroying North Korea, there is a wide gulf of misunderstanding and suspicion that accounts for the hair-trigger tension in the Korean peninsula.

"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. DPRK is the abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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

File picture shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un giving field guidance to various units in Samjiyon County, in this photo released in Pyongyang December 9, 2017.

It also said Feltman acknowledged that global sanctions are having a negative impact on humanitarian aid to North Korea. North Korean state media purports it can carry a "super-large heavy warhead". The last time an undersecretary-general for political affairs visited the country was in February 2010.

Shortly after the United Nations envoy left Pyongyang for Beijing on Saturday, North Korean media assessed the visit, highlighting the understanding between both sides and insisting that the current crisis in the region is a effect of U.S. hostility.

"But today the UN Security Council has a meeting on the subject.

We hope that there the American colleagues will clarify how they see further development and in which direction".

Speaking at an academic forum, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the situation on the Korean peninsula had entered a vicious circle of shows of strength and confrontation, and the outlook was not optimistic, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

CNN's Kristina Sgueglia, Richard Roth and Joshua Berlinger contributed tot his report.

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