The UN political chief, who just returned from North Korea, said on Wednesday the United Nations has opened a high-level dialogue with the reclusive communist nation for the first time in six years and plans further discussions in the next few months.

Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe, the highest-ranking UN official to visit North Korea since 2004, did not disclose details about plans for future talks but said senior officials from one or two UN agencies planned visits to Pyongyang.

Mr. Pascoe said he had no confirmation of reports that top North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Kye Gwan was planning to come to the US. But he said the UN would be “delighted” to welcome any official from the North to UN headquarters in New York.

On his visit, Mr. Pascoe met with North Korea’s No. 2 official Kim Yong Nam and the foreign minister on UN assistance programmes and stalled six-party talks on the North’s nuclear programme as well as relations with South Korea and other neighbours.

“There are few places in the world that are more dangerous than the Korean peninsula and we’d like to be as helpful as we can in resolving this important peace and security issue for the world,” Mr. Pascoe told a news conference.

After a six-year hiatus and years of trying to arrange a visit, Mr. Pascoe said his goal was to improve relations between the UN and North Korea.

“What we were trying to do was open a high-level dialogue that would go back and forth and talk about these issues,” he said. “I think that we succeeded in doing that.”

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