A senior United Nations official has met in Pyongyang with the North Korean vice-foreign minister,  as part of a four-day visit aimed at relieving political tensions in the Asia Pacific region.


It was not immediately clear what Jeffrey Feltman, the UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, discussed with Vice-Minister Pak Myong Guk on Wednesday.


Mr. Feltman, an American citizen and former State Department official, arrived in the North Korean capital on Tuesday.


UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the Associated Press  that Mr. Feltman was to have a wide range of talks in Pyongyang during his visit, but did not elaborate.


Mr. Feltman is the first person in his position to visit Pyongyang since 2010.


He is also expected to meet the North’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and with the UN staff based in the North Korean capital.


Although the visiting envoy does not represent the US, there are high hopes that visits by him or other diplomats  might help relieve tensions that have been growing amid threats and counter-threats between Pyongyang and Washington.


The UN said they do not expect to update the media on Mr. Feltman’s trip until it is concluded.


Six UN agencies, with approximately fifty international staff, are represented in North Korea.