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North Korean Foreign Minister heads to Sweden

North Korean Foreign Minister heads to Sweden

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North Korean Foreign Minister heads to Sweden
Seoul, March 15 (IANS) North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was flying to Sweden on Thursday, the Swedish government said, raising the possibility that his trip might be aimed at contacting US officials ahead of a proposed summit between the two countries.
Sweden, whose Embassy represents US interests in the North Korean capital, has been touted as a possible venue for the momentous summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. The visit fuels speculation that a Stockholm encounter is in the cards, Yonhap news agency reported.
Ri will stay in Sweden for two days during which he is scheduled to meet Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish Ministry said.
"The talks will focus on Sweden's consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the US, Canada and Australia," the Ministry said in a press release. "They will also address the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, which is high on the Security Council agenda."
The security situation on the Korean Peninsula was also on the agenda.
Ri's trip to Sweden came after Trump accepted Kim's summit proposal, which was delivered by South Korea's presidential security adviser, adding he wants the meeting to be held by May. The North has yet to make any official announcement about the planned summit.
Earlier, Ri was spotted at the Beijing international airport as he was on his way to Sweden. Choe Kang-il, a senior North Korean diplomat handling US affairs, was also said to have arrived at the airport.
A South Korean government official earlier dismissed chances for contact between the US and North Korea in Sweden, saying that Ri's visit must be intended to strengthen ties with the European country.
"I haven't heard that the US has anything to do with his trip to Sweden," he said. "If the North wants to talk to the US, there would be no reason for its top diplomat to travel all the way to the European country. It could use the existing New York channel to communicate with the US."
--IANS
soni/mr

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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