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    North Korean: From Sweden To Finland

    North Korea diplomat Choe Kang Il followed by the media 18 March, 2018/Thomas Peter.
     Choe Kang
    North Korean Diplomat Choe Kang check-in at International Airport for a flight to Helsinki from Beijing,China.
    A senior North Korean diplomat left for Finland on Sunday seeking for an altruism from the countries that have a well recorded history of Neutrality and none hostility. The visiting of Scandinavian nations is a great move that paving the ground for the upcoming talks between U.S President and Kim Jong-un. Yonhap News Agency reported the news, amid a series of diplomatic encounters ahead of a possible U.S.-North Korean summit. North Korea is pursuing its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. 

    It defends the programmes as a necessary deterrent against a possible U.S. invasion. The United States has about 28,500 troops stationing in South Korea. Tensions have eased in recent weeks, coinciding with North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics held in the South last month. Choe Kang Il, a deputy director general for North American affairs at North Korea’s foreign ministry, plans to attend the “track 1.5 talks”, according to Yonhap, reflecting planned contact between former U.S. officials and current North Korean ones in a broader bid to end the standoff over North Korea’s weapons programmes. 

    South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement North Korea would participate in the meeting joined by former South Korean officials and academics but did not provide further details. The talks in Finland will add to a flurry of diplomatic activity ahead of the proposed North Korean summits with South Korea and the United States, respectively, in April and May. Arriving at a Beijing airport en route to Finland, Choe declined to comment. In Washington, a State Department representative said they had no information on the meeting in Finland. 

    Pyongyang has already sent Ri Yong-ho to Sweden, where Mr Ri met his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom late on Thursday to engage on bilateral relations and discuss other issues of mutual concern. Sweden has a long history of mediating between Washington and Pyongyang. Sweden's foreign ministry said their discussions would focus on tensions between the two Koreas, and Sweden's diplomatic work on behalf of the US in North Koreaand Swedish foreign ministers ended three days of talks on Saturday where they outlined about security on the Korean peninsula as well as the preparation of the meeting between U.S. 

    President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. 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 Trump before the planned meeting with the North Korean leader. In a telephone call, Moon and Trump both voiced “cautious optimism” about efforts to resolve the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons. 

    In an interview broadcast Sunday by CBS News’ Face the Nation, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha noted that Kim has “in effect” met a condition for talks by making a commitment “in clear terms” to denuclearization. “He’s given his word,” said Kang, referring to discussions that South Korean officials held with Kim in Pyongyang earlier this month. “But the significance of his word is - is quite - quite weighty in the sense that it is the first time that the words came directly from the North Korean supreme leader himself.” Kang stressed that Kim will receive “no reward” for engaging in dialogue and that South Korea and the United States will be pressing the North Korean leader to take unspecified “actions” in order for there to be any progress.

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