Morning briefing: South Korean officials meet China’s President Xi Jinping / Catalan chooses its President / British PM May chairs security council

By Billy

Good morning, here’s your Monday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

South Korea prepares for Donald Trump meeting with Kim Jong-un

South Korea is sending diplomats around east Asia today to lay the ground work for a proposed meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with South Korean national security chief Chung Eui-yong later today.

Meanwhile, South Korea is also sending a delegation to Tokyo to brief Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the attempts to open talks with Pyongyang on its nuclear and missile program.

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi today said positive changes have emerged on North Korea amid US and South Korea efforts to denuclearise the country.

Catalan elects a new president

Spain’s Catalan parliament will meet today to elect a new president of the region.

With former president Carles Puigdemont withdrawing his candidacy, next in line is Jordi Sànchez, however he is in detention facing charges of sedition and rebellion.

It has made Sànchez’s appointment “unimaginable”, according to Rafael Catalá, Spain’s justice minister. Last week Spain’s Supreme Court said Sànchez cannot be freed from jail to attend an investiture ceremony.

The separatist parties won a slim majority in regional elections in December, called by the central government after it sacked the regional administration and imposed direct rule when the independence referendum was declared illegal.

May to chair security meeting

The UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May is due to chair a national security council meeting today.

The latest intelligence will be presented to the committee of ministers and intelligence and military chiefs.

The committee is expected to consider whether there is enough evidence to take action, and whether it is the right time to do so.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain in a critical but stable condition following the attack in the British city of Salisbury on 4 March.

Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer, was convicted by the Russian government of passing secrets to MI6 in 2004, but given refuge in the UK in 2010 as part of a “spy swap”.

Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.