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Switzerland, peacemaking and the gathering storm

 Swiss President Doris Leuthard says Switzerland is ready to mediate between the US and North Korea
AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS

Swiss President Doris Leuthard says Switzerland is ready to mediate between the US and North Korea
SWITZERLAND is offering to act as a mediator to help resolve tensions between North Korea and America by holding peace talks.
Swiss President Doris Leuthard said today her neutral country could help settle the stand-off between hostile North Korea and other countries over its nuclear and missile weapons programme.
She said Swiss troops were deployed on the demarcation zone between South Korea and North Korea and noted that her country - along with Sweden - had a long history of neutral and discreet diplomacy.
Leuthard told a news conference in the Swiss capital of Berne: "We are ready to offer our role for good services as a mediator.
"It is really time now to sit down at a table. Big powers have a responsibility."
The announcement comes after North Korea claimed yesterday that it had tested a hydrogen bomb prompting Donald Trump to warn of a "massive military response" if they were threatened.
Leuthard said: "I think in the upcoming weeks a lot will depend on how the US and China can have an influence in this crisis.
"That's why I think Switzerland and Sweden can have a role behind the curtain."
 South Korea has responded to Kim-Jong-un's latest nuke test with a live-fire simulation of an attack on his test site
AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS

South Korea has responded to Kim-Jong-un's latest nuke test with a live-fire simulation of an attack on his test site


 Pyongyang released pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with what state media said was a new type of hydrogen bomb

Pyongyang released pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with what state media said was a new type of hydrogen bomb
She added: "Perhaps these actions of North Korea are also an invitation for dialogue: We'll see.
"It's really time for dialogue.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spent part of his youth in Berne studying under an assumed name.
He was sent to school in Switzerland, where he was looked after by his maternal aunt Ko Yong-Suk and her husband.
Kim is well-known for his love of imported Swiss cheese as millions of his countrymen struggle to put food on the table.
School staff and friends, who were reportedly unaware that he was a member of North Korea's ruling family, remembered him as a shy boy who liked skiing and Hollywood tough guy Jean-Claude Van Damme.
 North Korea's Masikryong ski resort was the brainchild of Kim Jong-un and was inspired by his time at school in Switzerland
AFP - GETTY

North Korea's Masikryong ski resort was the brainchild of Kim Jong-un and was inspired by his time at school in Switzerland

How Switzerland has always been a neutral country

The tiny Alpine nation of Switzerland has adhered to a policy of armed neutrality in global affairs.
Switzerland maintained its impartial stance through World War I when it mobilized its army and accepted refugees.
Since World War II, Swiss cities have hosted numerous international mediation efforts and represented US interests in places like Iran and Cuba in the past.
It has never joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or the European Union.


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Switzerland, peacemaking and the gathering storm

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