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Diplomacy Swiss welcome US-North Korea meeting

Screen showing US President Donald Trump, left, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un

A huge screen showing US President Donald Trump, left, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, as seen in Tokyo

(Keystone)

Switzerland has welcomed the meeting announced between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Whether a meeting might take place in Switzerland remains unclear.

Trump said on Thursday he was prepared to meet Kim in what would be the first face-to-face encounter between any leaders of the two countries. It potentially marks a major breakthrough in easing tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

News of the meeting was delivered by South Korean officials after talks with the US president at the White House. They passed a verbal message from Kim, saying the North Korean leader was "committed to denuclearisation". The meeting between the two men could take place in May, the officials said.

Bern is in contact with all parties involved, the Swiss foreign ministry told the Swiss news agency SDA-ATS on Friday. Switzerland’s offer to host talks is well known, but it is up to the parties to decide when and where they want to hold talks, the ministry said.

Alain Berset, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, met North Korean representatives during his trip to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. He used the opportunity to highlight the importance of dialogue between the two neighbouring Koreas.

+ Read more about Berset’s trip to South Korea here

In September 2017, Switzerland confirmed its willingness to act as a mediator between North and South Korea after tensions rose following a North Korean nuclear test.


SDA-ATS/ilj

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SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

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