Asia-Pacific News

Top U.S. negotiator in Stockholm ahead of North Korea talks

Key Points
  • The U.S. top negotiator on North Korea met Sweden's special envoy to North Korea on Friday before expected talks this weekend.
  • 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 U.S. on Oct. 5.
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

The U.S. 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 U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, and his Swedish counterpart, Kent Harstedt, declined to comment to reporters. Sweden's foreign ministry and the U.S. embassy in Sweden also declined comment.

The meeting expected at the weekend with Kim Myong Gil, North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, will be the first formal working-level talks since U.S. 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 Oct. 5.

Next Article
Key Points
  • The U.S. Treasury Department said Friday that North Korean state-sponsored hacking groups attacked critical infrastructure, drawing illicit funds that ultimately funded the country's weapons and missile programs.
  • The groups launched ransomware campaigns among other types of attacks, according to Treasury's announcement.
  • The direct link to North Korea's missile program creates further ethical hurdles for companies, insurers and municipalities that must decide whether or not to pay ransoms to criminal groups that have locked up their files.