North Korea’s foreign minister heading to Sweden for two-day visit

In a move preceding the potential summit between the leaders of North Korea and the US, Sweden has announced that North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho is on his way to Stockholm for a two-day visit, that would “focus on Sweden’s consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the United States, Canada and Australia.”
Kim Jong-un Photo Credit: EPA

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho is heading to Sweden for a two-day visit, the Swedish government said on Thursday. The North Korean minister is expected to meet with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom.

The talks between the two foreign ministers “will focus on Sweden’s consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the United States, Canada and Australia," read Stockholm’s statement. “They will also address the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, which is high on the Security Council agenda.”

“The aim of the visit is to contribute to the effective implementation of the resolutions,” the statement added, referring to The UN Security Council’s denouncement of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. “A press release summarizing the talks will be published when the talks are concluded, in the evening of 16 March.”

The visit marks another rare diplomatic move amid the series of developments concerning the isolated regime, namely the White House’s announcement that US President Donald Trump accepted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s offer to meet and talk. Last week, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said his country was willing to host the historic meeting between Trump and Kim, adding that Sweden will work to ensure all dialogue would be "smooth."

As previously reported by JOL, Seoul’s national security adviser personally delivered Kim’s invitation to Trump after a South Korean delegation visited Pyongyang earlier this month. In a short statement that was delivered outside of the White House, South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong said that Kim told the delegation that he is “committed to denuclearization” and “will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.” Chung added that Kim “expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.”

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