Wallström expressed serious concern over the most recent escalation and urged the international community to “thoroughly implement” the latest round of UN sanctions against North Korea.
Both North Korea and the US have ramped up their already bellicose rhetoric in the past week, with North Korea saying it is considering missile strikes near US strategic military installations on the Pacific island of Guam, and US President Donald Trump threatening to bring down “fire and fury” in response.
“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” Trump tweeted on Friday.
The US has no formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, but several experts have named Sweden as a possible mediator in the crisis, in its role as a protecting power of the US in the country and a member of the Neutral Nations Supervisory.
“I don't think one should promise too much or speculate about things. We are always there, with our view of the diplomatic tools and a peaceful way forward. That is always our basic attitude. That is what is needed now,” Swedish Foreign Minister Wallström told the TT news agency on Sunday.
“We can only encourage both parties to come to their senses and hopefully find a way for political dialogue going forward,” she added.
She said she was concerned about Trump and Kim Jong Un's mounting war of words.
“When you end up in such a situation it is much more difficult to back out. The more you invest, the harder it is to avoid losing face when you have to choose a path of violence,” Wallström said.
“It also increases the risk of mistakes and miscalculations. Because it's not just the leaders but also people in a whole system that are inspired by this. And these days the threshold is quite low.”