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

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 | ReutersThe 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.

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