US and North Korea Wrap Up ‘Intensive’ Denuclearization Talks

Sweden reports talks were 'constructive,' unclear if any agreements reached

Three days of negotiations between US special representative Stephen Biegun and North Korea’s Choe Son Hui in Stockholm, Sweden ended on Monday, with the Swedish government reporting the talks to have been “constructive.”

The talks came after President Trump agreed to a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in late February. The location of that summit is decided on, but not disclosed. These talks focused narrowly on getting the denuclearization process moving forward again.

The US is demanding that the North Koreans start speeding up dismantling their program, while North Korea is seeking confidence-building measures. In particular, North Korea is said to be seeking a US imprimatur for North and South Korea to continue economic cooperation. Hopes of road and rail links between the two Koreas were derailed by US sanctions forbidding South Korea from making such improvements.

While both sides aired their perspectives on the matter, it’s not clear anything was actually agreed to. The US is still insisting on keeping economic sanctions maximized, while North Korea is still seeking small steps on both sides to prove seriousness about eventual normalization.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.