For the first time since 2011, a United Nations official is slated to visit North Korea, which has ramped up its nuclear and ballistic missiles tests this year.
The U.N. said that Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is expected to visit Pyongyang from December 5 to 8.
“The visit is a response to a long-standing invitation from the authorities in Pyongyang for policy dialogue with the U.N.," U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Monday, stating that the invitation was extended on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September.
"It will be a wide-ranging policy discussion," Dujarric said.
Feltmen has confirmed meetings with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Vice Minister Pak Myong Guk. He will also meet with members of the diplomatic corps and the United Nations Country Team in Pyongyang.
Last week, Pyongyang launched new intercontinental ballistic missile – the Hwasong-15 - which it claims could reach a target in the continental United States.
Following the launch, Japan's U.N. ambassador announced that his country's foreign minister will preside over a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on December 15 to discuss North Korea's nuclear program.
The last visit by a U.N. official to North Korea was in October of 2011 by then-U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos.
VOA's Margaret Besheer contributed to this story.