Trump, Moon discuss plan to meet North Korean leader - White House

Foreign Minister Summits Could Provide Breakthrough in Peninsula Affairs

Trump rattled the worldwide community and his own administration last week when he quickly accepted North Korea leader Kim Jong Un's invitation to meet. The villa is close to the embassies of South Korea and the United States.

Mr Im added that Mr Moon may meet Mr Trump after the inter-Korean summit, but before Mr Trump's planned summit with Mr Kim in May.

The phone talks between Abe and Moon took place days after Suh Hoon, the director of South Korea's National Intelligence Service who met with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang this month, visited Tokyo to brief Abe on the meeting.

"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 statement. -North Korean summits. But they also confirmed the need to maintain "maximum pressure" on North Korea, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters after the talks.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, second right, leaves the Swedish government building Rosenbad in central Stockholm, Sweden, Friday, March 16, 2018. It provides consular services for the U.S. in North Korea. 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.

"It was a good and constructive atmosphere. We will not disclose what they talked about", Lofven's spokesman Jonatan Holst said.

Ri made no comment as he left.

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The security situation on the Korean Peninsula is also on the agenda. Choe Kang-il, a senior North Korean diplomat handling USA affairs, was also said to have arrived at the airport.

Sweden, which has an embassy in Pyongyang, has been frequently used as a communication channel between the US and reclusive North Korea. The North has yet to make any official announcement about the planned summit.

Worldwide media have speculated that Sweden could either help set up a proposed summit or be a potential location if a tete-a-tete were to be confirmed.

An official at the South's defence ministry said the authorities were aware of the Jane's report, which follows a similar one released on the 38 North website earlier this month that said a nearby reactor had also continued to show signs of operation.

Japanese broadcaster TBS said Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Moon discussed North Korea in a telephone call on Friday.

"Abe explained to Moon that Japan is seeking a resolution to the abduction issue as well as the nuclear weapons and missile programs", an official in the Japanese prime minister's office said.

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