Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide is calling new dialogue with North Korea “positive,” but she warns against relieving pressure on the country too quickly. Søreide noted that no concrete results have emerged from talks so far.
Søreide was in Japan late this past week to visit her counterpart, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. “We share the view that we are positive and cautious optimists to the talks that have gone on and will between North Korea and South Korea and the US,” Søreide said after her meeting with Kono on Thursday.
“But we are clear that we must not let up the political and diplomatic pressure (on North Korea) or the economic sanctions,” Søreide said.
Norway resumed diplomatic relations with China without clear demands for the improvements in democracy, human rights and personal freedoms that it usually promotes. Norwegian officials clearly view the situation with North Korea as different, given the country’s utter lack of democracy and repeated violations of human rights.
Søreide was full of praise for Japan, meanwhile, during her visit, calling the country “an important partner for Norway.” She noted that Japan has the third-largest economy in the world, and the Norwegian government “wants to strengthen the economic partnership with Japan.” She specified potential for increased cooperation with Japan in research, innovation and technological development, especially in maritime areas.