Top US negotiator in Stockholm ahead of North Korea talks

South Korean protesters hold signs during a rally to demand the peace on the Korean peninsula and to stop sanctions against North Korea in front of Foreign Ministry. (File photo: AP)

The US top negotiator on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, met Sweden’s special envoy to the isolated country in Stockholm on Friday before expected talks with North Korean officials at the weekend.

A delegation from North Korea landed in Stockholm on Thursday.

Biegun, the US Special Representative for North Korea, and his Swedish counterpart, Kent Harstedt, declined to comment to reporters. Sweden’s foreign ministry and the US embassy in Sweden also declined comment.

The meeting expected at the weekend with North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Myong Gil, will be the first formal working-level talks since US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in June and agreed to restart negotiations that stalled after a failed summit in February.

Lower-level discussions were expected on Friday to prepare for the weekend talks.

Analysts told Reuters the leaders of both countries face growing incentives to reach a deal though it remains unclear whether common ground can be found after months of tension and deadlock.

On Wednesday, North Korea said it had successfully test-fired a new ballistic missile designed for submarine launch, a day after North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said working-level talks would be held with the United States on October 5.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00
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