On Tuesday U.S. State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson met in Vancouver to co-host the Vancouver Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and both leaders spoke about ensuring that sanctions are enforced on North Korea over its destabilizing actions with its weapons program.
Secretary Tillerson said during the meeting that for the past two decades the international community has advanced a range of initiatives to limit or dismantle North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and related activities, including 10 UN Security Council resolutions, in direct response to North Korea’s destabilizing actions.
Secretary Tillerson reported that despite these measures, North Korea continues to engage in a deliberate and systematic effort to develop and enhance its capabilities and said that nowhere else in the world do they see the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction on the scale of Pyongyang’s program.
Tillerson emphasized that the U.S. can’t stand by as the North Korean threat persists and worsens and encouraged the 20 countries represented in the Vancouver meeting to ensure that the sanctions imposed on North Korea are strictly enforced.
Admitting that the U.S. isn’t seeking a regime change in Pyongyang or hostility to the North Korean people, Tillerson said that they want to resolve the crisis peacefully to achieve security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland agreed that the next step is to be sure that the sanctions towards North Korea already in place with UN approval actually are fully implemented and mentioned that Canada will continue to raise the issue of smuggling, of sanctions evasion, and do everything they can at a diplomatic, at a technical level, to ensure that the sanctions are really enforced.
Foreign Minister Freeland said, “We had an opportunity to all congratulate South Korea on the inter-Korean dialogue which has begun this month” and later explained that talking is a good thing.
Also present during Vancouver Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula were Taro Kono, Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Kang Kyung-wha, and South Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Later today, Secretary of State Tillerson will deliver remarks to the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies on the way forward for the U.S. regarding Syria.
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