Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Tillerson to host NK meeting in Canada

Tillerson to host NK meeting in Canada

China's trade with North Korea plunged 50 per cent in December as United Nations sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development tightened, the government reported on Friday.

But Mills would not say whether China had been invited to the Vancouver meeting and declined to provide a list of countries that had received invitations, saying a list of participating states "will be released in due time".

A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry told reporters in Beijing the Vancouver meeting would undermine peace efforts.

The meeting comes after a flurry of diplomacy between North and South Korean and fresh openness from President Trump to the prospect of talks with Pyongyang, although US officials emphasized Thursday that North Korea's provocations can not be tolerated by the global community.

Mr. Tillerson is slated to co-host with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

South and North Korean delegations attend the meeting at Panmunjom village in the demilitarised zone. Beijing has imposed limits on oil sales and cut deeply into the North's foreign revenue by ordering North Korean businesses in China to close, sending home migrant workers and banning purchases of its coal, textiles, seafood and other exports.

"These officials feared that the USA was already trying to shape the battlefield for a military operation against the North, and that South Koreans do not seem to have grasped the reality that the Trump administration is set on a course for preventive war", Vorontsov wrote.

"China has the same policy goal, in terms of ensuring that North Korea does not become a nuclear weapon state and acquire the means to deliver a nuclear warhead", Hook said.

North Koreans are also genuinely anxious the United States could launch a preventive war on the peninsula.

But Hook said America has kept China informed on enforcing sanctions and added that both it and Russian Federation would be briefed after the Vancouver conference.

"Is it going to be middle-power multilateralism, where we bring countries together, the like-minded and not like-minded, to fashion some solutions that will be supportive of what the big guys are going to be doing?"

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