Heated discussions between U.S. and N. Korea expected at UN meeting
Updated: 2017-12-15 19:59:23 KST
The U.S. is set to further ramp up the pressure on North Korea at the United Nations, where the North is also said to be making a rare appearance.
The State Department says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will seek to rally members of the UN Security Council on Friday to turn the screw on Pyongyang.
Tillerson is slated to take part in a Security Council Ministerial Briefing regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert says Tillerson will reaffirm the Trump administration's push for "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang so that it gives up its weapons programs.
And during the discussions, he is also expected to confront North Korea's envoy.
North Korea said it will send its UN ambassador to the event, through an email from Jo Jong Chol, the spokesperson at the North Korean mission.
During his rare appearance at the council meeting, Ambassador Ja Song Nam is expected to deliver a speech, possibly on how North Korea is a full-fledged nuclear power and how it will not give up its nuclear program.
He met UN official Jeffrey Feltman on Thursday, to follow up on the UN official's visit to Pyongyang last weekend.
North Korea is not a member of the UN Security Council, but it made a request on Thursday to attend the event as a participating nation.
The move is seen as a highly exceptional case, raising speculation that its envoy may be planning to make strong and determined remarks on the meeting's agenda.
Ahead of the event, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency lashed out at the U.S. for convening the meeting.
The report said "The meeting is none other than a desperate measure plotted by the U.S. being terrified by the North's state nuclear force".
In a separate broadcast, the North slammed the U.S. over the possible use of a naval blockade warning such a move would drive the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war.