Helsinki, first meeting between officials from the two Koreas and the USA

Choe Kang-il, a senior North Korean diplomat, left for Finland yesterday. The goal is to prepare the summits between Kim Jong-un, Moon and Trump. The South Korean president evaluates a possible coordination of South Korea-China-Japan.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Choe Kang-il, a senior North Korean diplomat and deputy director general for North American Affairs, is in Helsinki to meet former US and South Korean officials. The meeting, which will also be attended by Kathleen Stephens, a former US ambassador to South Korea, will be held at the Japanese Embassy in Helsinki, Finland.

The trip - which follows that of the North Korean Foreign Minister to Stockholm - is part of the series of preparatory meetings, in view of the summits expected in April and May, when Kim Jong-un should meet South Korean president Moon Jae-in and American Donald Trump.

Choe is not new to the context of the dialogue which restarted thanks to the Olympics of PyengChang: he had been part of the North Korean delegation to South Korea in February led by Kim Yo-jong, sister of the North Korean leader, and Kim Yong-nam.

Moon is considering discussing and coordinating the strategy for the upcoming weeks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who recently opened up the opportunity to meet the North Korean leader himself.

The real effectiveness of dialogue will be put to the test tomorrow, when the United States and South Korea will announce the date of the next joint military exercises, considered by North Korea as a "provocation".