Japan asks USA to discuss N.Korea abductions

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

GETTYDonald Trump accepted last week Kim Jong-un invitation to meet face-to-face

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho landed in Stockholm on a flight from Beijing late on Thursday and held talks with Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom before returning to the North Korean embassy.

Swedish officials said the Stockholm talks would focus on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and a possible Trump-Kim summit.

Moon ordered provocative precision-guided missile tests immediately after North Korean weapons tests, something that even his conservative predecessors didn't do.

Unlike the White House, Harris seems to understand that things are not always as they appear when it comes to Pyongyang, especially if we are getting a critical message third-hand from South Korea, which historically has been irrationally exuberant about the potential for diplomacy with North Korea.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha added in an interview with USA broadcasting company PBS on Friday (local time) that South Korea has a "clear" goal of complete denuclearization of North Korea, though she knows that it will take a long time since the weapons program is "very advanced".

"It was a good and constructive atmosphere". South Korea, the third largest exporter to the United States, will see a 25% tariff on steel, and a 10% tariff on aluminum.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono met US Vice President Mike Pence on Friday at the White House in Washington. With this "major strategic Russian asset running right through his country", Kim would have "enough insurance against a U.S. attack" to "mothball his own nukes" and "shelter under the Russian umbrella". "What we are trying to achieve in the short period of two months is a great transformation that the world hasn't succeeded in accomplishing".

"I think Panmunjom meeting is very efficient in every aspect... when compared to a visit to the North or an invitation to the South", Im said.

"We've made a decision to narrow down the agenda topics to denuclearising the Korean peninsula, securing permanent peace to ease military tension and new, bold ways to take inter-Korean relations forward", said Im, who is head of the preparation team.

Ri's delegation included Choe Kang Il, deputy director general of the foreign ministry's North America section.

Lavrov: Russia has no motive for attack on ex-spy
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement Johnson's claim was a "shocking and inexcusable breach of diplomatic propriety". Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov , said the tit-for-tat expulsion of British Embassy staff would take place "soon".

"They now have nuclear weapons and a delivery system that can legitimately threaten all states in the United States", Yun told CNN on Thursday.

Kim has full freedom to decide how to handle the coming summits with Moon and Trump but he is constrained by advisers, the military, Congress, lobbyists, and a public propagandised to consider North Korea part of an "axis of evil".

Zhiqun Zhu from Bucknell University writes that "few have figured out why so far neither the North Korean government nor Kim himself has stepped forward to confirm (or deny) the planned meeting".

"They will also address the security situation on the Korean peninsula, which is high on the (UN) Security Council agenda", a ministry statement said. Any peace treaty would end the United Nations Command which legitimizes and formalizes the USA presence in South Korea.

"Sweden fully supports the Security Council resolutions".

But the two Koreas and the US are in the throes of an Olympics-led rapprochement, with South Korea announcing plans for a summit between Seoul and Pyongyang next month, and US President Donald Trump said to be meeting the North's leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May.

"We really want to help out", Lofven said in an interview with Sweden's TV4 network.

South Korea diplomats said North Korea has agreed to discuss "denuclearization" at the talks, planned for May, though the hermit kingdom has long demanded a removal of USA troops in its southern neighbor in exchange. "Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time".

Moon may have learned how to balance the alliance with Washington and his outreach to the North from his time as chief of staff for late liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, who often had awkward ties with President George W. Bush over North Korea.

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