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As Sweden’s ambassador to South Korea from 2018 to 2021, Jakob Hallgren saw firsthand as the pendulum shifted from hope and optimism about the future of inter-Korean relations to pessimism and doubt about whether Seoul and Pyongyang could ever reconcile. This week, Hallgren joins the NK News podcast to discuss his country’s role in diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula, Sweden's history in facilitating track 1.5 and 2.0 talks, the Ukraine war and what North Korea stands to gain, and why the dream of Korean unification will go unrealized. Jakob Hallgren (@HallgrenJakob) is the director of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Prior to that, he was Sweden’s ambassador for disarmament and non-Proliferation, as well as ambassador to the Republic of Korea. About the podcast: The North Korea News Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Jacco Zwetsloot (@JaccoZed) exclusively for NK News, covering all things DPRK — from news to extended interviews with leading experts and analysts in the field, along with insight from our very own journalists.