Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Trump re-affirms plan to meet Kim Jong Un

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho will arrive in Stockholm early on Thursday evening North Korean foreign minister visits Sweden amid summit speculation
Ellis Copeland | 17 March, 2018, 13:54

Trump and Moon spoke by phone on Friday. According to a White House statement, the allied leaders "agreed that concrete actions, not words, will be the key to achieving permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

"The two leaders expressed cautious optimism over recent developments and emphasized that a brighter future is available for North Korea, if it chooses the correct path".

Trump has agreed to meet Kim by May.

A senior US administration official told AFP: "No US government staff are meeting with the North Koreans in Sweden".

"The assumption is of course that (they) will speak a bit about the proposed talks between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un", Swanstrom told The Associated Press.

Kang's arrival in Washington came just 48 hours after President Donald Trump fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.

Kono and the senior US officials agreed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's scheduled talks with Trump in early April will allow them to coordinate on issues related to North Korea, including the Trump-Kim summit.

On Friday, the USA official left in charge of the State Department after Tillerson's departure faced a delicate diplomatic task: to keep America's key Asian allies on the same page over the outreach to Kim.

Kang is instead to meet with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, who is serving as acting secretary, and discuss details of the back-to-back summit plans.

"I think it would be nice to have a South Korea- US summit in between even if it only involves working-level issues". But South Korea and Japan also have tetchy relations and different perspectives on the problem.

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Ivanka Trump met with South Korea's foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha in Washington Friday? He used the Winter Olympics his nation hosted last month to reach out to Pyongyang.

Kang followed up Thursday with a lunch with Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and adviser.

In the US, the South Korean minister also had plans to meet House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe now appears the odd one out.

Earlier this month, Trump thanked Lofven for Stockholm's efforts to negotiate the release of USA student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested for stealing propaganda material during a 2016 trip to Pyongyang, but who died after returning home.

President Trump stunned the political world last week when he said he would accept an invitation to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

"We'll see what happens next", Wallstrom said.

Alongside Foreign Minister Kono on Friday, Sullivan told reporters the US and Japan would discuss their "many common interests" and build on the allies' "unbreakable bonds".

Kang also mentioned an upcoming inter-Korean summit of the US and her nation, saying they will "become significant milestones in terms of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and thereby to expedite the denuclearization and the establishment of a lasting peace on the Peninsula, ' her ministry said in a statement".

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