North Korean officials are expected to meet with US and South Korean representatives in Helsinki, Finland, for unofficial talks ahead of possible major summit meetings.
The pair confirmed that Japan and South Korea will maintain maximum pressure on North Korea in order to achieve its complete denuclearization.
The Finnish foreign ministry has said the meeting will be "academic" and "from the perspective of worldwide relations". The ministry suggested the U.S. would also be represented in some way, without giving details.
A senior US administration official said Friday that no USA government staff would be meeting with the North Koreans in Sweden, where Ri was stationed as a diplomat for three years in the mid-1980s.
So-called "track 1.5 talks" bring together a mixture of current government officials and nongovernmental experts. Since the announcement, North Korea has fallen silent, raising questions about the summit's certainty.
Choe Kang-il, deputy director-general for North American affairs at the North Korean foreign ministry, was spotted in Beijing Sunday on his way to Finland.More news: St Patrick's Day 2018: What you need to know
Finland's Foreign Ministry told CNN the country was only facilitating the meeting - not participating.
Edit: Changed title to reflect that the time and date of the meeting are still unknown.
Neither Sarias nor Lahdevirta specified that the talks were about denuclearization. Trump accepted the invitation from Kim when a South Korean delegation delivered it verbally in Washington. It would be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean head of state, and it comes after the two leaders exchanged blustering threats. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea but denies any invasion plans. Sweden is playing the role of a "protecting power" for the United States since it doesn't have diplomatic relations with North Korea.
South Korean officials said the talks are due to take place by May, but the White House has said the time and place have yet to be determined.
But the ministry did not reveal specifically what the two ministers agreed on, raising the possibility that Sweden and North Korea were not able to come together on much or anything.
Harris said he believed Kim would like to see a reunification of the Korean peninsula under his rule, and sought respect, status and security through the possession of nuclear weapons. The North is now holding Kim Dong-chul, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-song. He is serving a ten-year sentence for espionage.