May 29, 2023
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A North Korean diplomat has recently arrived in Sweden to take part in an unannounced meeting in Stockholm, officials said Friday.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Vilhelm Rundquist said Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui has landed in Sweden “to take part in talks in a minor format where international experts take part.”

He declined to give further details. Sweden’s TT news agency said Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom would also attend the event.

It is possible that U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun would join the meeting later, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

I have nothing to say presently. It’s up to the parties and the countries whether there will be a result, Wallstrom told the TT news agency. “We are proud if we can contribute. If they want us to contribute, we do it.”

The location for the talks wasn’t immediately disclosed. Swedish officials have declined to confirm any further details about the meeting, including whether it is underway.

Sweden has had diplomatic relations with Pyongyang since 1973 and is one of only a few Western countries with an embassy there. It provides consular services for the United States.

In March, Wallstrom held talks with her North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, in Stockholm, leading to the first-ever meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in June in Singapore.

Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

This story has been corrected to show that the talks are not high-level and that it’s possible that the U.S. special envoy would attend, not that he is already attending.

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