North Korean minister's surprise Sweden visit fuels speculation over Trump talks

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"They had a meeting.

Then of course the meeting with the United States of America will come up, but we're far away from being able to say it will be in Sweden or it will be somewhere else", Swanström told The Local.

China's foreign ministry confirmed reports that Ri Yong Ho was transiting through the Chinese capital on his way to Sweden, but did not provide any further information.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry says Ri Yong Ho will meet his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom during his rare trip overseas Thursday. The talks were to continue on Friday.

Uncertainty over the summit has also been fuelled by the departure of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who was seen as a moderating voice favouring diplomacy over military threats. But we're not naive, we don't think we can solve the world's problems.

Ri's trip comes as Nirj Deva, the chair of a European parliamentary delegation, told reporters that his group has been holding secret meetings with senior members of the North Korean regime over the past three years to try to convince it to return to peace talks, CNN reported.

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"If we can use our contacts in the best way, we will do so", she said, noting the situation on the Korean peninsula was "of interest to us all" in terms of security.

The talks in Stockholm will also involve Sweden's consular responsibilities in North Korea, which include representing U.S. diplomatic interests.

The same has happened with the USA and North Korea.

"We are not sending any representation", she said, adding that the United States was preparing for the summit in good faith, but has yet to hear from Pyongyang on the matter.

The embassy also represents US, Canadian and Australian diplomatic interests in North Korea, with Sweden playing a key role in liaising diplomatic talks.

Worldwide media have speculated that Sweden could either help set up a summit or be a potential location if a tete-a-tete were to be confirmed.

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"Sweden fully supports the Security Council resolutions".

Since Trump's surprise announcement last week that he was willing to meet Kim, speculation has mounted over what location might be chosen to host what would be the first-ever meeting between serving leaders of the two countries.

"It's worth keeping in mind that the foreign minister in the North Korean set-up is not on the level of someone who can decide about a top level meeting". As the United States has no North Korean consulate, Sweden has previously stood in as its representative.

In a meeting with congressional leaders on Thursday (local time), Kang shared the outcome of recent trips to Pyongyang by South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special envoys, which led to a summit agreement between the two Koreas, the ministry said.

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