Executive Intelligence Review


North Korean, South Korean and U.S. Delegates Meet at Helsinki, Amid Summit Expectations

March 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—AP reported Tuesday on the March 19-20 two-day talks among the U.S., North Korean and South Korean delegates at a 19th-century manor house just outside Helsinki. Eighteen delegates, six from each country, plus observers from the United Nations and European Union, attended the meeting, which was carried out under a veil of secrecy. Media were largely kept in the dark about the identities of the delegates and issues on the table, apart from Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini saying on March 20 that denuclearization wasn’t on the agenda, AP reported.

What is known, however, is that senior North Korean diplomat Choe Kang-il, who handles North American affairs for his Foreign Ministry, was among the delegates from Pyongyang, while the U.S. delegation is believed to have included Kathleen Stephens, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea.

Many observers consider that the Finland meeting was geared toward preparing a summit between the North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, and a meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, AP reported. A South Korean academic in Helsinki told a Finnish broadcaster media that It was the first in a series of planned meetings among the Koreas and the U.S., involving unofficial talks between current and former officials and academics. The meetings are likely to be important for establishing summit expectations and possibly even agenda items, said AP.