North Korean foreign minister begins Sweden trip

North Korean foreign minister visits Sweden

Deva, the European Parliament member, hailed Trump's decision to accept an invitation from Kim as "an unprecedented display of diplomacy". Trump accepted on the spot and triggered a race to set a credible agenda for what could be a historic breakthrough. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven stressed in front of local media about his country's role as a "guarantor" of U.S. interests in North Korea under an agreement allowing Washington to use the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang for diplomatic purposes.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters before leaving for the US that she will do her best to prevent any possible disruptions in communication between the allies, a concern that has been spawned by President Donald Trump's recent firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The reactor could be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, but North Korea is believed to already have enough fissile material for multiple nuclear bombs, according to Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

What exactly is Sweden doing in North Korea? "There is a long record of Sweden interacting with North Korea on behalf of the Americans".

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".

"It was a good and constructive atmosphere". He has not made any public comments since he arrived in Stockholm on Thursday.

"(We) will make efforts to maintain communication without any problem", she said. Ri's delegation included Choe Kang Il, deputy director general of the foreign ministry's North America section.

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North Korea's Minister for Foreign Affairs Ri Yong-Ho is to meet his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström on March 15th and 16th, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday.

An official at the South's defence ministry said 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.

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

Ri and Lofven met at the government headquarters in the Swedish capital.

He also asked Seoul to raise the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the North.

A report on Friday by intelligence analysts at Jane's by IHS Markit said satellite imagery from February 25 showed gas emissions from a stack at the North's experimental light water reactor (ELWR), suggesting preliminary testing had likely begun.

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