North Korea's Kim congratulates China's Xi on re-election as president

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Meanwhile, Japanese broadcaster TBS said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed North Korea in a telephone call on Friday.

Ri Yong-ho arrived in the Swedish capital Thursday evening with Choe Kang-il, deputy director general of the Foreign Ministry's North America section.

North Korea's foreign minister and his Swedish counterpart concluded on Saturday three days of discussions focused on reaching a peaceful solution to the nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula. North Korea has so far not publicly acknowledged the invitation.

The South's delegation to the high-level preparatory talks will likely be led by Unification Minister Cho Myung-gyun who also headed the talks leading up to the presidential envoys' trip to North Korea earlier this month.

Mr Trump's decision came as a surprise to many, including apparently his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who he subsequently fired earlier this week.

"It is evident that the whole world is following the situation on the Korean Peninsula".

The talks added to expectations of a Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting, as Sweden has long liaised between the United States and North Korea.

The administration "fully expects" the meeting will take place, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters this week, provided Pyongyang does not waver from the conditions it attached to talks.

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The United States and North Korea have not signed a peace treaty to end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice.

"To this end, they agreed to further strengthen the close cooperation and communication between South Korea and Japan, as well as between South Korea, the US, and Japan", it said in a press release.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on the same day he wishes China will make greater achievements in the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

The same has happened with the United States and North Korea.

Jim Hoare, a research associate at SOAS University of London, who specialises in Japanese and Korean affairs, said:"I think the Japanese are certainly concerned that they were not consulted".

Both The Washington Post and CNN obtained audio of a speech Donald Trump gave to a group of Missouri donors on Wednesday in which he criticized several countries, including Canada, about trade agreements several allies had with the U.S. -North Korea interactions but stressed that it was up to the countries concerned to decide "which way we are going".

Both nations host tens of thousands of USA forces and face a direct threat from North Korea's weaponry. It followed the bonding between the two Koreas at the Winter Olympics.

Kono underscored Japan's stance of seeking to resolve North Korea's nuclear, missile and abduction issues in a comprehensive way.

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