UN officials in Sweden for talks on North Korea, Syria

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signs the guest book accompanied by Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven prior to a meeting with the UN Security Council at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
Sweden's ambassador to the United Nations Olof Skoog, front left, and United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, front right, arrive with other members of the UN Security Council for a meeting with UN Security Council meeting at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, center, arrives in Ystad, southern Sweden Saturday, April 21, 2018, to attend a meeting with the U.N. Security Council on Syria. (Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency via AP)
Peru's ambassador to the United Nations Gustavo Meza-Cuadra arrives with other members of the UN Security Council for a meeting with UN Security Council meeting at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
France's ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre arrives with other members of the UN Security Council for a meeting with UN Security Council meeting at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, right, talks to journalists accompanied by Carl Skau, Ambassador of Sweden upon their arrival for a meeting with UN Security Council meeting at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
Journalists wait for the arrival of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden Saturday, April 21, 2018. (Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency via AP)
United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, right, talks to journalists accompanied by Carl Skau, Ambassador of Sweden upon their arrival for a meeting with UN Security Council meeting at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, right, is welcomed by Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven upon their arrival for a meeting with UN Security Council meeting at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
Ambassadors to the United Nations, from right, Francois Delattre of France, Karen Pierce of Britain, Carl Skau, Ambassador of Sweden and Gustavo Meza-Cuadra of Peru talk to journalists upon their arrival for a meeting with UN Security Council meeting at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
CORRECTS ID AT LEFT Swedish State Secretary for International and EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren, left, and Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven arrive for a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden, Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, is welcomed by Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on their arrival for a meeting with the UN Security Council at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signs the guest book accompanied by Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven prior to a meeting with the UN Security Council at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden on Saturday April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT via AP)
Police patrol prior to the arrival of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council at Backakra outside Ystad, southern Sweden Saturday, April 21, 2018. The meeting on Syria will take place at Backakra, the estate of Dag Hammarskjold, statue at right, who served as U.N. Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. (Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency via AP)

BACKAKRA, Sweden — The U.N. secretary-general and ambassadors from countries on the Security Council assembled Saturday in Sweden for an informal meeting on weighty international issues, including developments on the Korean Peninsula and in Syria.

The annual joint brainstorming session for the United Nations' movers and shakers is being hosted this year by the Swedish government on the picturesque farm estate of Dag Hammarskjold in southern Sweden.

Hammarskjold was a Swedish diplomat who served as the second U.N. secretary-general before he died in a plane crash in September 1961.

Talking to reporters before the meeting, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres briefly commented on North Korea's announcement that it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests.

He said he was optimistic about North Korea's decision, saying that "the path is open for the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Pyongyang's statement "clearly shows that when you have a unity within the (U.N.) Security Council, you can achieve things."

However, Lofven remained cautious about the situation.

"To speculate what would happen is perhaps a bit too dangerous, but it does look positive, yes," he said.

Meanwhile, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said diplomats were "still deadlocked" over Syria.

The meeting comes just a week after France, Britain and the U.S. launched joint airstrikes at suspected Syrian chemical weapons sites, saying Syrian President Bashar Assad's government was behind an alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma.

Haley said she and the other diplomats welcomed the working meeting as a chance to get a break from their normal routines

"Retreats like this are very important for us to get away from New York sometimes and discuss these things in a way that we can really try and find a solution," she said.

Guterres is set to stay in Sweden until Monday.

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