It is an extremely rare move by the United Nations because it has been seven long years since a top diplomat from the global organization has visited North Korea.
Jeffrey Feltman, the U.N.'s undersecretary general for political affairs, arrived in Pyongyang earlier in the day on a four-day visit that includes talks with Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho.
AFP journalists saw Feltman arrive in a UN-flagged vehicle at the Chinese capital's global airport in the morning.His trip comes a day after the United States and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise -manoeuvres slammed by Pyongyang as an "all-out provocation".
Mr. Feltman's visit to North Korea has added significance because he is expected to travel to China as well as Japan, which covers the three most important countries in the region that play a crucial role in this geopolitical crisis. Twelve thousand service members and 230 aircraft, including stealth fighters and bombers, are participating in the drills, during which allied air assets will conduct simulated strikes on hundreds of mock North Korean targets, such as nuclear and missile sites, as well as mobile missiles.
Pyongyang sent tensions soaring on the Korean Peninsula five days ago when it announced it had successfully test-fired a new ICBM, which it says brings the whole of the continental USA within range.
UN Official Begins Rare Diplomatic Mission to North Korea
Feltman will meet with DPRK officials to discuss "issues of mutual interest and concern", said United Nations officials earlier in NY.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, have traded insults and engaged in escalating rhetoric in recent months.
The UN envoy is planning to see foreign diplomats and UN workers in the North on humanitarian missions, Dujarric said.
On Monday, the US and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise - maneuvers slammed by Pyongyang as an "all-out provocation".