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Sweden's Foreign Minister calls US-North Korea agreement a 'victory for diplomacy'

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Sweden's Foreign Minister calls US-North Korea agreement a 'victory for diplomacy'
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands on Tuesday. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci/TT
17:31 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström on Tuesday described an agreement signed by the leaders of the US and North Korea as "a victory for diplomacy".

US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an historic summit in Singapore, where they signed a document including a pledge from Kim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Some observers have criticized the agreement as vague in its wording, and Wallström said it was important that it lead to "concrete changes", but described it nonetheless as a "clear victory for diplomacy".

The Swedish Foreign Minister told reporters she was "optimistic but mildly sceptical" about the agreement, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

"It has been an exciting day of interesting results, and now comes the test, which is to implement this agreement and see what it contains in all its details," the politician told SVT

"It's almost a miracle if you look back a year at how the insults and the war of words looked, and now they're affirming their friendship and respect for each other -- so let's see," she said.

JUST FOR MEMBERS: What exactly is Sweden doing in North Korea?

Wallström also commented on the summit on Twitter, writing: "Welcome US-DPRK agreement. Goal remains DPRK's complete de-nuclearization and sustainable peace. Now words have to be translated into action. SE ready to support."

Sweden has a long-standing relationship with North Korea, where it was the first Western country to open an embassy in the 1970s. The embassy today represents US, Canadian, and Australian diplomatic interests in the country.

Sweden is also one of the world's biggest givers of humanitarian aid to North Korea, and there are even Swedish soldiers at the Korean border as part of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission.

In May, Wallström met North Korea's Minister for Foreign Affairs Ri Yong-Ho in Stockholm, a development that at the time sparked discussion of whether the US-North Korea summit could take place in the Scandinavian nation.

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

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