North Korea accuses US of “nuclear blackmail” and agrees to contact the UN

Pyongyang has accused Washington of “nuclear blackmail” to fuel tensions on the Korean peninsula over its nuclear and nuclear programs, but agreed to regular contacts with the United Nations, state media reported Saturday.

The announcement came after US diplomat Jeffrey Feltman, the UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, concluded a five-day visit to North Korea to defuse the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. He arrived in Beijing on Saturday.

The extraordinary visit began a week after North Korea launched a ballistic missile on 28 November capable of reaching continental American territory, experts said.

During the first visit of a senior UN official since 2010, Feltman met with Foreign Minister Ri Hong-ho and his deputy Pak Myung-kook, the North Korean News Agency reported. He also visited medical facilities supported by the United Nations, according to the agency.

“During the talks, the hostile policy of the United States towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its nuclear blackmail are responsible for the current tense situation on the Korean Peninsula,” Pyongyang said.

The agency said North Korea had agreed with the United Nations at the same time to “make regular contacts through visits at various levels.” The agency did not mention any meeting between Feltman and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Feltman began his visit after the start of the most important South Korean-US joint air exercises.

The North Korean agency reiterated the position of Pyong Pyong, who believes that regular US exercises with South Korean troops on the Korean Peninsula “reveal their intention to prepare a surprise preemptive nuclear strike” against North Korea.

Feltman made no statement to reporters Saturday at Beijing airport, where he arrived from Pyongyang. However, the United Nations published a statement in New York about Feltman’s mission, which did not mention these “visits at various levels,” but said the parties “agreed that the status quo today represents the most serious problem for world peace and security.”

“Feltman stressed the need for full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions,” he said, adding that resolving the crisis on the Korean peninsula “can only be diplomatically through genuine dialogue.”

Beijing, North Korea’s main source of economic support, insists it is strictly implementing international sanctions, but Washington believes it should step up pressure on its neighbor through an oil embargo.

But China prefers its proposal to impose a “double moratorium” – the suspension of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests and at the same time stop the US-South Korean military exercises – to revive negotiations. Washington strongly rejects the proposal.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website on Saturday that the Korean Peninsula “is still engulfed in a cycle of force and confrontation, and prospects are not encouraging.”

“But the hope for peace has not stopped and the prospects for negotiations remain and the option of military intervention can not be accepted,” he said in a December 5 speech at a research seminar in Beijing.

After defending the option of a “double moratorium,” he said that “the first steps must be taken to break the ‘black hole of hatred’ in which the peninsula has sunk and to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of dialogue.”