Swiss President Doris Leuthard has announced her willingness to perform shuttle diplomacy between US President Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, in an attempt to alleviate tensions between the two powers.
Leuthard mentioned that Swiss troops had been sent as an international task force to the border between North and South Korea, and that the country had a long history of neutral diplomacy.However, she also called on all sides involved in tensions to come to the negotiating table.
"We are ready to offer our role as mediators, and it is time to sit down at the negotiating table," Leuthard told a Geneva press conference.
Since North Korea's hydrogen bomb experiment, tensions have increased in the Korean Peninsula. In response to the detonation South Korea conducted a major military maneuver near the border with the north.In recent hours, South Korea has intensified reports of newly-identified preparations in Pyongyang to launch another ballistic missile in coming days. Authorities in Seoul also demanded that the United States deploy aircraft carriers and bombers to South Korea in the event of North Korean aggression.
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned North Korea that the United States could destroy it, although it preferred to resolve the crisis diplomatically: "Kim Jong Un should take heed the United Nations Security Council's unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses. And they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely, North Korea," he said.
The United Nations Security Council also scheduled another emergency session for the coming days following North Korea's hydrogen bomb test at the beginning of the week. Less than a month ago the Council imposed the most severe sanctions on North Korea yet since the start of Pyongyang's missile tests.