Japan, South Korea pledge to keep pressure on Pyongyang

by Abel Hampton March 19, 2018, 0:46
Japan, South Korea pledge to keep pressure on Pyongyang

Abe was also quoted as raising the possibility of a bilateral summit with Pyongyang after Kim meets Trump, citing the so-called Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, signed on September 17, 2002, between former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and then-Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, as precedent.

The foreign ministers of North Korea and Sweden have ended their three-day talks, which were widely expected to deal with the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un, as well as American citizens detained in the North.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry told CNN that former officials and private experts from South Korea would be at the "second-tier" talks on denuclearization.

The US State Department confirmed that no USA government officials participated in the talks this week in Stockholm.

Sources in Seoul say he'll meet with former USA ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens and security experts from Seoul.

"North Korea is in a situation of very limited ability to engage economically with the outside world, which means it has very limited ways of improving the livelihood of the people", she said.

Ministry spokeswoman Petra Sarias declined to confirm the meeting's date, time, location or participants. So far, North Korea has yet to comment publicly on what it hopes to gain from the talks. It would be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean head of state, and it comes after the two leaders exchanged blustering threats.

Earlier reports had listed Choe among the North's delegation to Sweden. Sweden provides consular services for the United States in North Korea. Sweden is playing the role of a "protecting power" for the United States since it doesn't have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

The statement said Moon and Trump agreed that "concrete actions, not words", would be the key to achieving permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea said on Friday it was seeking high-level talks this month with North Korea to prepare for a summit and that South Korean President Moon Jae In may meet Mr Trump before the U.S. president's planned meeting with the North Korean leader.

The ministry added that "Sweden underlined the need for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programmes in accordance with Security Council resolutions". He is serving a ten-year sentence for espionage.

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