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North Korea denuclearisation not on agenda in Helsinki talks: Finnish foreign minister
[HELSINKI] Denuclearisation is not on the agenda in the meeting with North Korean, South Korean and American delegations taking place in Helsinki, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said on Tuesday.
Choe Kang Il, a deputy director general for North American affairs at North Korea's foreign ministry, is attending the talks in Finland amid a series of diplomatic encounters ahead of a possible US-North Korean summit.
But Mr Soini, speaking in an interview with Finnish broadcaster MTV, said North Korea's nuclear programmes were not on the table.
"This is a so-called 1.5 track meeting with academics and officials, with Finland only a facilitator... But since we talk about 1.5 track, I think there will be no talk about nuclear weapons.
"It is good to have the discussion going on and take the use of this time frame that was opened between the South and North Korea before the (Winter) Olympics (last month)," Mr Soini said.
No details on the talks have been given as yet.
North Korean and Swedish foreign ministers ended three days of talks on Saturday on security on the Korean peninsula in preparation for a potential meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
North Korea is pursuing its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.