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tiptrot.com May 27, 2018


North Korean foreign minister heads to Sweden amid summit speculation

18 March 2018, 01:20 | Bernice Figueroa

North Korean foreign minister heads to Sweden amid summit speculation

N.Korean foreign minister leaves for Sweden

Sweden is happy to help resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula but it is up to the parties involved to try to find a way forward, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said on Friday.

North Korea's foreign minister met briefly with Sweden's prime minister Friday during a surprise trip to Stockholm that has fueled speculation about a possible meeting in the Scandinavian country between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Wallstrom earlier said Sweden hopes "we can use our role and also our contacts" to facilitate U.S.

At the same time, foreign ministers Kang Kyung-wha of South Korea and Taro Kono of Japan were in Washington for talks at an under-staffed US State Department, left in turmoil by Trump's abrupt and brutal Twitter-sacking of former secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

Sweden has diplomatic ties with North Korea.

Sweden has an embassy in Pyongyang, which also represents U.S. interests in North Korea.

"We are not sending any representation", she said, adding that the United States was preparing for the summit in good faith, but has yet to hear from Pyongyang on the matter.

Swedish public broadcaster SVT reported, without citing sources, that Ri planned to stay in Sweden until Sunday.

South Korea and Japan have held their first two-plus-two security talks in almost three years.


"We met in secret with senior North Koreans on 14 occasions", Deva said.

The ministry said the talks will also focus on those consular responsibilities.

"The Swedes have this long-established presence in North Korea, so since the 1990s, they've particularly looked after USA interests", Hoare told CNN.

"They will also address the security situation on the Korean peninsula, which is high on the (UN) Security Council agenda", a ministry statement said.

"We've made a decision to narrow down the agenda topics to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, securing permanent peace to ease military tension and new, bold ways to take inter-Korean relations forward", Im, the head of South Korea's summit preparation team, told reporters.

Some reports have suggested that Japan is less optimistic than its allies in Seoul and Washington that the talks are a good idea, but USA officials said talks with Kono at the State Department had gone well.

President Trump recently accepted an invitation to meet with Mr. Kim after a year of tense power plays between the two countries in the form of tweets and missile tests.

A South Korean soldier walks past a television screen showing pictures of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Seoul.

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