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Korean Top Diplomat's Sweden Talks Could Pave Way for Trump-Kim Summit

16 March 2018

North Korea has yet to respond to Trump and South Korea's statements about a meeting.

North Korea's foreign minister held talks with Swedish officials on Friday amid reports the Scandinavian nation could help pave the way for a proposed summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

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Admiral Harry Harris told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee he believed the United States would stick to its demand for the "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula.

"We've chose to narrow down the agenda topics to denuclearising the Korean peninsula, securing permanent peace to ease military tension and new, bold ways to take inter-Korean relations forward", said Im, who is head of the preparation team.

Im added Moon may meet Trump after the inter-Korean summit but before Trump's planned summit with Kim in May.

The report by intelligence analysts at Jane's by IHS Markit said satellite imagery from February 25 showed emissions of non-condensable gases from a stack at the North's experimental light water reactor (ELWR) at the Yongbyon Atomic Energy Research Center, suggesting preliminary testing had likely begun.

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There is speculation that the foreign minister's visit is to lay the groundwork for Trump-Kim talks in the country, or that Sweden is helping set up the summit elsewhere.

The highest level U.S.

Briefing reporters between meetings with her North Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said that the "security situation (on) the Korean Peninsula is of interest to the whole world" and that the Swedish government "values this opportunity to arrange a meeting" between the traditional foes.

The experimental reactor is likely too small to provide much in the way of electricity, but is part of a "long-running effort" to develop a light-water reactor after a deal by an worldwide consortium, including the United States, to provide two such nuclear power reactors in the 1990s fell apart, Pollack said.

It is one of the few western states with a diplomatic channel to the North Korean leadership and may be able to smooth out obstacles in the path of a summit meeting.

North Korea has ignored global condemnation to pursue its nuclear programme and launch missile tests.

Korean Top Diplomat's Sweden Talks Could Pave Way for Trump-Kim Summit