World News

Peters calls for 'maximum pressure' on North Korea

Peters calls for 'maximum pressure' on North Korea

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month announced plans to co-host the Vancouver meeting in response to growing concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Foreign ministers from around 20 nations gather on Tuesday to discuss how to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions through diplomatic and financial pressure, but China, seen as a key player in any long-term solution, will be absent.

After a meeting of USA allies on how to beef up the sanctions pressure, Tillerson stressed that the Trump administration seeks a diplomatic resolution in the nuclear standoff, but he said the North has yet to show itself to be a "credible negotiating partner".

Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters is attending high-profile multi-nation talks on North Korea in Canada, which are being hosted in part by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson also highlighted in his opening remarks Tuesday North Korean missile tests pose a threat to civilian air traffic. During the meeting, delegates will be reviewing the sanctions now in place and talk about ways to ensure they are being properly enforced.

Pyongyang and Seoul held their first official talks in more than two years last week, agreeing on the participation of North Korean athletes in the South Korean Olympics.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono voiced skepticism about North Korea's intentions. Tillerson called on nations to "strengthen global maritime interdiction operations to foil illicit ship to ship transfers". The group also places "special responsibility" on China and Russian Federation - whom they "forgot" to invite to the summit - to find a way out of the crisis. He added that his country will not enter dialogue with Pyongyang unless it takes steps toward denuclearization.

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"We recognize that no one action or resolution will compel North Korea to give up its nuclear program", Tillerson said.

The delegations specifically agreed to tackle North Korean financing that fuels nuclear research, revenue which they claim comes from the country's criminal activities and cyber operations.

Canada's Foreign Minister of Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, is co-organizing an worldwide summit with the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

"We will work actively to improve North-South Korean relations but will not stand still to actions that are against unification", the North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.

South Korea's vice Unification Minister noted that, given the approaching start of the 2018 Winter Olympics, it is very likely that the Wednesday dialogue will focus only on the sports event.

Over the weekend, a false alarm in Hawaii warning of an incoming ballistic missile rattled nerves, while US President Donald Trump has traded bluster with Kim over who has the bigger nuclear launch button at his desk.


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