North Korean foreign minister in Sweden amid Trump-Kim speculation

039;s stance on summit focus in Finland talks

North Korea To Meet For Talks With US, South Korean Delegation in Finland

As the U.S. has no embassy in North Korea, Sweden has in the past acted as its diplomatic representative in the authoritarian state. The building is close to the embassies of South Korea and the United States.

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

"It was a good and constructive atmosphere".

"We'll see what happens next", Ms Wallstrom said.

"If we make thorough preparations, I expect the Panmunjeom meeting will be another formula for inter-Korea summits".

"As we go into this, I think we can't be overly optimistic on outcomes". They are: Kim Dong Chul, a Korean-American missionary; Kim Sang-duk, who spent a month teaching at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) before he was arrested in 2017; and Kim Hak Song, who also taught at PUST.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry says Ri Yong Ho will meet his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom during his rare trip overseas Thursday.

An official at the South's defence ministry said the authorities were aware of the Jane's report, which follows a similar one released on the 38 North website earlier this month that said a nearby reactor had also continued to show signs of operation.

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Swedish public broadcaster SVT meanwhile said the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) was involved in the talks, though SIPRI did not return AFP's calls for a comment.

Sweden's foreign ministry has refused to comment on that possibility saying only that the talks would "focus on Sweden's consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the United States, Canada and Australia".

"We've chose 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", said Im, who is head of the preparation team. Sweden is now a non-permanent member of the Security Council. "The aim of the visit is to contribute to the effective implementation of the resolutions", the ministry said.

To the surprise even of his advisers, Trump readily accepted an invitation to meet Kim in hopes of securing the rogue regime's complete denuclearization.

"This meeting will hopefully lead to clarity about what North Korea wants from a high-level meeting and what the time-frame is and what the conditions will be - for example, should there be any preliminary meetings", a source with knowledge of the situation said. He remains in close touch with the director of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, Suh Hoon, said a U.S. official familiar with the preparations.

Japanese media reportthat Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has asked the raise theissue of Japanese abductees in North Korea during North Korea-U.S. summit talksscheduled in May.

Trump likely understands none of this, and did not have (or would not listen to) anyone knowledgeable about North Korea when he leaped at the supposed offer.

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