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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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FOOTBALL

Swedish striker Zlatan named Newcomer of the Year in US soccer

Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic of the Los Angeles Galaxy was named on Monday as Major League Soccer Newcomer of the Year, defeating England's Wayne Rooney among others for the award.

Swedish striker Zlatan named Newcomer of the Year in US soccer
Zlatan pictured during an LA Galaxy match. Photo: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Ibrahimovic won in a balloting of MLS coaches and players plus a media panel with an average of 36.36 percent support to 32.25 percent for DC United captain Rooney. Mexico's Carlos Vela of Los Angeles FC was third on 13.47 percent.

Ibrahimovic scored 22 goals and added ten assists in what was only the third 20-and-10 season in MLS history. The Galaxy went 9-2 with four drawn when the Swedish icon scored a goal.

With a roundhouse volley kick to score against Toronto FC on September 15th, Ibrahimovic netted his 500th career goal, joining Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as only the third active player to reach that lofty milestone.

Ibrahimovic failed to lead the Galaxy into the playoffs but his career has already included titles with European giants FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan.

He has also netted a record 62 goals for Sweden, with star turns in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
Rooney, who scored 12 goals in 21 appearances for DC United after joining the club in July and lifting them from the cellar to the playoffs, won the nod in voting from club technical staff — 34.31 percent to 28.43 percent over Zlatan.

But the Swede edged Rooney in player balloting 34.99 to 30.90 percent and decisively took media voting 45.65 percent to 31.53 percent.

Newcomer of the Year recognizes players in their first MLS season but with prior professional experience, making Rookie of the Year candidates ineligible. 

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