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South Korea gears up for summit, report shows North Korea testing reactor

18 March, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York Monday Sept. 25 2017

In talks that started Thursday and are expected to continue on Friday, the North Korean and Swedish delegations will discuss several topics, including the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, a spokesperson for the Swedish Foreign Ministry said.

The closest contact Pyongyang has had with a USA administration came in 2000, when then-President Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, visited the country to lay the groundwork for a mooted meeting between the countries' leaders. "It is up the parties to decide how to move forward", Wallstrom told Swedish media in parliament on Friday.

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

Ri and Wallstrom dined together at the foreign ministry on Thursday evening, then met again on Friday at Villa Bonnier, a lavish building used by the government for official functions which is located near the USA embassy.

Löfven's comments came only a few days after he met President Trump at the White House and offered to be a "channel" in improving US-North Korea relations.

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

Sweden is one of a handful of places analysts believe could host the meeting, as its Pyongyang embassy is often used as an intermediary for communication between the regime and countries with which it has no diplomatic ties.

Meanwhile, the Swedish Prime Minister told his country's news agency TT that "if the main actors (North Korea and the US) want Sweden to play a role (in holding a summit), then we are ready to do that".




Global media have speculated that Sweden could either help set up a proposed summit or be a potential location if a tete-a-tete were to be confirmed.

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

The North Korean government has not provided any official information regarding this visit.

"Sweden fully supports the Security Council resolutions".

The ministry referred to the UN Security Council's condemnation of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs, saying the UN "emphasized the need for intensified diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict".

After months of tension and warmongering over Pyongyang's nuclear programme, Trump has agreed to a summit proposal relayed by South Korean envoys who met Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.

Are economic sanctions on North Korea effective?

President Trump and Kim Jong Un's attempts to cool down tensions between the USA and North Korea may receive a boost from the chilly climate in Sweden.

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