In a change of pace, the Swedish government has praised U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, calling the summit a “victory for diplomacy”.
The Swedish Foreign Minister expressed “excitement” over the summit which saw the historic meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea on Tuesday.
“It has been an exciting day of interesting results, and now the test is going to be the implementation of this agreement and to see what it contains in all its details,” Wallström told Swedish public broadcaster SVT.
“It is clear that this is a victory for diplomacy – that you make an agreement, but it really has to lead to concrete changes,” she said adding: “But there have been two previous historical events with agreements and agreements that have not yet been implemented.”
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 12, 2018
The praise comes after some have seen Sweden as a natural ally to help the President in forming relations with the hermit state in Pyongyang. Sweden has been on good terms with North Korea for decades with the Swedish embassy becoming the first Western diplomatic outpost in the country in 1975.
Former Prime Minister Göran Persson headed a European Union delegation to North Korea in 2001, becoming the first head of a Western government to meet with the North Korean leadership when he met with former leader Kim Jong-Il.
The praise from Sweden towards President Trump marks a turn on the part of the Swedish government which has been highly critical of the President on issues such as moving of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognising the holy city as Israel’s capital.
The Swedish government released a statement in December of last year saying, “The government deeply regrets the U.S. statement about Jerusalem”, warning the move would spark violence.
In February of last year, several female government ministers including Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin posted a picture of themselves signing a bill relating to climate change in order to mock a picture of President Trump signing an executive order banning federal money going to international NGOs that perform abortions.
— Isabella Lövin (@IsabellaLovin) February 3, 2017
“You can interpret it as you want,” a spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister said at the time, adding: “It’s more that Sweden is a feminist government and this is a very important law that we just decided on.”
Later that month, the “feminist government” defended the fact that several female ministers wore Islamic headscarves on a visit to Iran where the piece of clothing is not optional for Iranian women.