Jeffrey Feltman, the United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, headed to North Korea from Beijing on Tuesday.
The UN announced that he will be staying for four days, and will meet with several senior North Korean officials, including foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, and vice-minister Pak Myong Guk.
The visit was first said to have been discussed on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, but not confirmed until recently.
"The visit is a response to a long-standing invitation from the authorities in Pyongyang for policy dialogue with the U.N. We were able to confirm the visit last Thursday, November 30th. It will be a wide ranging discussion. I'm not going to go into any detail, but it will be a wide ranging policy discussion."
The spokesperson added that the Under-Secretary will meet with the UN diplomatic corps, as well as staff from the 6 UN agencies working there, as well as visiting some UN project sites himself.
It's the first time a senior UN official has visited the reclusive state since the former UN aid chief, Valerie Amos, visited in October 2011, and it comes as tensions have renewed after Pyongyang test fired its latest, most powerful ballistic missile yet last week.
In response, U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened more unilateral sanctions, but so far, no new UN Security Council resolution has been forthcoming.
But the South Korean government has welcomed the move, and expressed hope that it can lead to more significant talks.
"Through Under-Secretary General Feltman's trip, we hope North Korea receives the international community's message to stop its provocations and threats, and return to the path of meaningful denuclearization."
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.