FOREIGN POLICY/NORTH KOREA/SWEDEN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said a senior North Korean government official was expected in Stockholm later Thursday [3-15-18] for two days of talks that could be a prelude to a planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho will visit Sweden on Thursday and Friday, and meet his counterpart Margot Wallström, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. They will discuss ‘recent efforts of reconciliation’ and the ‘general situation’ on the Korean Peninsula, a spokesman for the Swedish ministry said. The ministry said the two top diplomats would also discuss Sweden’s consular role in representing U.S. interests in the Asian country.
Mr. Ri’s visit comes amid intense diplomatic efforts aimed at preparing a possible meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim.
After months of escalating tensions, during which North Korea tested ballistic missiles capable of crossing the Pacific Ocean and Messrs. Trump and Kim traded bellicose messages, Pyongyang and Washington appear set on detente… The Swedish embassy in Pyongyang most recently facilitated the release of the late Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, who was detained in North Korea for 17 months. Mr. Warmbier was released in a state of coma and died shortly after returning to the U.S.”
-Andrew Jeong and David Gauthier-Villars, “North Korean Official’s Trip to Sweden Could Be Prelude to U.S. Talks,” The Wall Street Journal online, Mar. 15, 2018 08:23am