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NORTH KOREA

Swedish, Japanese PMs condemn North Korean missile tests

North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing is a violation of UN resolutions and a threat to global peace and security, Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Löfven and Japanese counterpart Shinzu Abe said after discussions between the two during Abe’s visit to Stockholm.

Swedish, Japanese PMs condemn North Korean missile tests
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

“They [the missile tests, ed.] must cease and peace on the Korean peninsula must be restored,” Löfven said at a government press meeting.

Japan, like Sweden, is a member of the UN Security Council.

Löfven also said that the two countries had agreed two continue efforts to restore trust between the parties in the region, reports news agency TT.

“Exactly how it will happen is still unclear. There is only one way forward and that is through dialogue. To find a way to build confidence so that all sides can reduce the tension. Escalating this is very worrying for both North Korea and the world,” Löfven said.

Stockholm hosted bilateral talks between the two countries in 2014.

READ ALSO: Strange but true: North Korea owes Sweden millions for Volvos from the 1970s

NORTH KOREA

South Korean envoy to join meetings with North, US in Sweden: ministry

The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has confirmed that South Korean envoy Lee Do-Hoon will participate in high-level meetings with the United States and North Korea.

South Korean envoy to join meetings with North, US in Sweden: ministry
Police at the Mälaren conference facility northwest of Stockholm. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The ministry confirmed the new detail of the talks, which will take place at an unnamed location in Sweden, after several media previously reported Lee’s involvement.

“He is in Sweden to participate in roundtable discussions in a lesser format with international experts, organised by the Swedish government and Sipri [Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, ed.],” Swedish foreign ministry press spokesperson Buster Mirow Emitslöf said.

Lee will participate as the South Korean representative on security questions relating to the Korean peninsula. The presence in Sweden of United States Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and Choe Son Hui, a North Korean vice-minister of foreign affairs, has already been confirmed.

Issues addressed by the talks will include the upcoming summit between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The meeting will take place in a secret location, but police on Saturday blocked access to a conference facility at Mälaren northwest of Stockholm. Swedish media including tabloids Aftonbladet and Expressen reported that Swedish former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson was at the location.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs would not confirm whether this would be the venue for the meetings and remained tight-lipped around the exact arrangements.

Sipri confirmed that it was involved in organizing the meeting and that it was taking place, but made no further comment.

“It is too early” to say anything, Sipri’s head of communications Stephanie Blenckner said.

On Friday, the White House announced that the US and North Korea had agreed to a second summit between Trump and Kim at the end of February. The location for that meeting has not been confirmed.

The two leaders first met in Singapore in June 2018.

READ ALSO: US-North Korea meeting to take place in Sweden: reports

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