Both the USA and South Korean presidents were described as cautiously optimistic that diplomacy could resolve the North Korean nuclear missile crisis.
Here's why the agreement to meet face to face with North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un may be disastrous for the U.S. President Trump thinks he has Kim negotiating from a position of weakness because of sanctions, which is a severe miscalculation (Kim doesn't care and China and Russian Federation secretly fill the void).
Earlier on Friday, Ri also met Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, the latter's press secretary, Erik Nises, told CNN.
Despite the positive remarks, one expert said its unlikely the talks in Sweden are expressly created to lay the groundwork for discussions between the US and North Korea. There is neither a USA ambassador to South Korea nor a State Department special representative for North Korea policy.
The date and agenda of the meeting are not known, but the publication reports it centers on summits between North and South Korea and between North Korea and the US, as part of President Trump's intention to conduct talks with the North Korean dictator.
The North's Korean Central News Agency said on Friday that Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho left for Sweden on Thursday to meet with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom to exchange views on bilateral ties and matters of mutual interests.
Sweden has had diplomatic relations with North Korea since 1973, and is now one of the few western countries to have an embassy in Pyongyang.More news: NCAA Tournament Watch Guide, Day 2: Second Verse, Same As The First?
Trump and Kim have a year-long history of acrimonious rhetoric, with Trump notably threatening the North Korean leader, whom he has called "little rocket man", with "fire and fury" and Kim retorting "a frightened dog barks louder" after Trump addressed the UN.
In its statement, Sweden's foreign ministry noted that the U.N. Security Council had unanimously condemned North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs and demanded their "complete, verifiable and irrevocable elimination".
Worldwide media have speculated that Sweden could be a potential location if a Trump-Kim summit were to be confirmed.
"Sweden fully supports the Security Council resolutions".
"We believe in dialogue and in a political process", Wallstrom told reporters.
The New York Times finds significance in the presence of Choe Kang-il, North Korea's deputy director for North American affairs, as part of Ri's mission to Sweden.
"If we can help and provide a forum for this and support this process, then this is something we should do", Lofven said in comments carried by CNN. The department also lacks a permanent ambassador to South Korea.