NK foreign minister seen at Beijing airport ahead of US-proposed summit

Pauline Gross
Марта 18, 2018

North Korea's foreign minister met with his Swedish counterpart Thursday after making a surprise trip to Stockholm that has fueled speculation about a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sweden's embassy in Pyongyang also represents US, Canadian and Australian diplomatic interests in North Korea, with the country playing a key role in liaising diplomatic talks.

Reports have suggested they may meet over the next two days, though the Swedish foreign ministry didn't provide any information on possible upcoming talks between DPRK and US officials.

Ri is set to meet Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom later Thursday or on Friday.

The two foreign ministers will discuss Sweden's diplomatic representation of the United States, Canada and Australia, which lack diplomatic presence in North Korea, and the security situation on the Korean peninsula, Sweden's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Sweden is among a number of countries touted as a possible venue for what would be a historic meeting between Trump and Kim, who have engaged in bellicose mudslinging over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The diplomatic wheels started turning rapidly at the beginning of the year when the two Koreas worked to bring a handful of athletes from the North to compete in the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

"We believe in dialogue and the political process, but we are not naïve", Wallstrom said.

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'We can not be naive and think that Sweden is going to resolve these problems, ' he said.

The US State Department said it was aware of the meeting in Stockholm, but that Washington would not be taking part.

The planned meeting comes after months of increased tensions between the US and North Korea.

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 source said it was important to build confidence between Washington and Pyongyang, adding: "The United States wants to have help with consular matters and North Korea wants to be sure that no one is going to invade".

Yun told CNN on Thursday that the North Koreans have wanted to meet with Trump for some time, but it was only recently agreed to because of disagreement within the Trump administration over how to handle North Korea.

He said he did not expect the announcement of a date or location for a Trump-Kim meeting.

In the past, that has meant Washington would have to withdraw all of its troops from South Korea, a condition no US president has been willing to consider.

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