Trump, Moon pledge to keep pressure on N.Korea

Trump Moon pledge to keep pressure

Ri Yong Ho, who landed late Thursday in Stockholm, met Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom at Sweden's Foreign Ministry. Its diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, which opened in 1975, was the first Western embassy established in the isolationist country and now represents US, Canadian and Australian diplomatic interests, with Sweden playing a key liaison role.

South Korea's presidential office quoted Moon as saying his administration will try to create a positive atmosphere, which will enable the US-North Korea summit to be a success.

Earlier this month, Trump thanked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan 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. But we're not naive, we don't think we can solve the world's problems.

In its statement, Sweden's foreign ministry noted that the U.N. Security Council had unanimously condemned North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programmes and demanded their "complete, verifiable and irrevocable elimination".

"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", the White House said in a readout of the U.S.

However, in the light of the diplomatic thaw with Pyongyang, South Korea and the USA will scale down and shorten annual joint military exercises.

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Another South Korean official said Kang also plans to meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross possibly to discuss U.S. tariff measures on South Korean steel products.

"If they hadn't fallen out with the Malaysians, one might have thought that could have been a place", he added, referring to a diplomatic rift between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang over the suspected assassination of Kim's half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, by North Korean agents.

The North is yet to respond to the proposal of holding the summit in May. While he was said to be on his way to Sweden for a foreign ministerial meeting, there are speculations that he is seeking to contact United States officials in Sweden ahead of a planned summit between the two countries.

If North Korea agrees to the talks, they would be the first North-South contact since a South Korean delegation returned from a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this month and a chance for North Korea to break its silence on promised engagements with the South and the United States.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono will visit the United States shortly. The entire US, including major cities such as NY and Washington, D.C., are potentially within the range of the latest weapon. But no specific time or venue has been set and North Korea has yet to confirm it even made the offer to meet.

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