Sweden, Switzerland express willingness to send nuke inspection team to North Korea

Ballistic missiles on display during a military parade in Pyongyang, on Feb 8, 2018.
Ballistic missiles on display during a military parade in Pyongyang, on Feb 8, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL - Sweden and Switzerland have expressed their willingness to, upon request, send a team to inspect North Korea's possible dismantlement of nuclear and missile programmes, a US broadcaster reported on Saturday (Sept 22), according to Yonhap news agency.

After holding a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday agreed to permanently dismantle the country's only missile engine test facility and launch pads in Dongchang-ri in the presence of international experts.

Kim also offered to dismantle the key nuclear facility in Yongbyon should the United States take corresponding measures.

Welcoming the outcome of the inter-Korean summit, US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Kim "has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations", though it is not clear what Trump meant by nuclear inspections.

According to the report by Radio Free Asia (RFA), Vilhelm Rundquist, spokesman for Sweden's Foreign Ministry, said his country "welcomes the summit and the Inter-Korean dialogue. Regarding international inspections, Sweden stands ready to contribute with inspectors, if requested," Yonhap reported.

Sweden has had diplomatic relations with North Korea since 1973, and became the first Western country to establish an embassy in Pyongyang in 1975. The Swedish embassy represents the consular interests of Australia, Canada and the Nordic Countries.

The message from Sweden was echoed by Carole Wälti, spokesman for the Swiss Foreign Ministry, who said: "If so requested, Switzerland is always ready to consider requests for assistance that could further efforts to build peace and stability in the region," the RFA reported.