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North Korean minister to meet again with Swedish counterpart

North Korean minister to meet again with Swedish counterpart

STOCKHOLM: North Korea’s foreign minister is set to meet again with his Swedish counterpart amid growing speculation about a possible meeting in the Scandinavian country between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Ri Yong Ho, who arrived late Thursday in Stockholm, is expected to meet Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom Saturday. Details about their talks had been shrouded in secrecy.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry said Friday a summary of their discussions would be provided afterward.
Ri’s surprise trip to Stockholm has taken on added significance due to expectations that a Trump-Kim summit could defuse the tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Wallstrom said Friday that she had “good and constructive” talks as she left the Stockholm villa where the meeting took place. The villa is close to the embassies of South Korea and the United States.
Ri, who has not made any public comments in Sweden, also brief met with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven Friday.
Sweden has been rumored as a possible site for the US-North Korea summit, though a truce village on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone between the Koreas is seen as more likely.
Sweden has had diplomatic relations with North Korea since 1973 and is one of few Western countries with an embassy in Pyongyang. It provides consular services for the United States in North Korea.
Ri also visited the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute for an off-the-record meeting on the situation in the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia, the arms watchdog said in a statement.
SIPRI listed North Korea as having 10 to 20 warheads including “operational warheads held in storage and retired warheads awaiting dismantlement.”

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