Sweden, North Korea talks extended to Saturday

Sweden, North Korea talks extended to Saturday

North Korea's state media has yet to comment on the pending summits with Moon and Trump, but Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho is visiting Sweden for talks with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom.

Ri's delegation included Choe Kang Il, deputy director general of the foreign ministry's North America section.

The Swedish foreign ministry said ahead of his visit that talks would focus on "Sweden's consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the United States, Canada and Australia", but would also address the security situation on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was supposed to leave the country Friday.

North Korea's top diplomat arrived in Sweden on March 15, for two days of talks.

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The isolated state has always maintained it will continue to develop its nuclear weapons as a deterrent against USA aggression but, according to South Korea, it later said it was open to abandoning the programme if the security of its regime was guaranteed.

An exact time and location for the Trump-Kim meeting have not been set.

The historically neutral European country, whose embassy represents USA interests in the North Korean capital, has often played the role of intermediary in discussions between Washington and Pyongyang.

Sweden, whose embassy represents U.S. interests in the North Korean capital, has been touted as a possible venue for the momentous summit between Kim and Trump and Ri's visit fuelled speculation that a Stockholm encounter was in the cards.

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".

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It added that a statement summarising the talks will be made available after Mr Ri's talks with Ms Wallstrom.

For that Mr. Moon's Chief of Staff said the South Korean president could meet with U.S. President Trump after the inter-Korean summit but before the planned Trump, Kim summit in May.

"We plan to officially propose the talks to North Korea".

The building is close to the embassies of South Korea and the US.

President Moon and Prime Minister Abe agreed to work together to resolve pending issues between the North and Japan, including the issue surrounding North Korean agents who allegedly kidnapped Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.

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