Thu, December 16, 2010
World > Asia-Pacific

U.S. senior official arrives in Pyongyang

2010-12-16 12:00:25 GMT2010-12-16 20:00:25 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

U.S. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (4th L) arrives for a 5-day visit in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Dec. 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Gao Haorong)

U.S. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (L, front) arrives for a 5-day visit in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Dec. 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Gao Haorong)

U.S. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (2nd L, front) arrives for a 5-day visit in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Dec. 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Gao Haorong)

Ri Gun (1st L), chief of the American Bureau of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foreign Ministry, welcomes U.S. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (2nd L, front) who arrives for a 5-day visit in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Dec. 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Gao Haorong)

PYONGYANG, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson arrived here Thursday for talks with officials of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) concerning the situation on the Korean peninsula.

American Affairs Bureau of DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs Li Gun greeted the American governor at the airport.

Richardson told Xinhua at the airport that he was visiting Pyongyang at the invitation of Kim Kye Gwan, the first vice-minister of the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said he would hold talks with senior officials of the DPRK on the issues involving the situation on the peninsula.

"I'm very concerned about it," he said.

He said he hoped the tensions on the peninsula would be eased as early as possible.

It is the first time that Richardson has visited the DPRK since the shelling incident on Nov. 23.

According to the U.S. State Department, Richardson's visit is "a pure private visit and won't conveyed any messages from the U.S. government to the DPRK."

Richardson will leave on Dec. 20.

Richardson, an important member of the Democratic Party of the U.S., has kept a comparatively close relationship with the DPRK. He visited the DPRK in 1996 and resolved the issue of an American detained by the DPRK.

He has paid seven visits to the DPRK. During his last visit to Pyongyang in April 2007, he met with Kim Yong Dae, vice president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, and Kim Kye Gwan, then vice-minister of Foreign Ministry on issues of nuclear and U.S. soldiers' remains. He returned the U.S. with six U.S. soldiers' remains at that time.

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