TORONTO, Canada – Canada and the United States announced on Tuesday that they will hold an international summit on Jan. 16 in the Canadian city of Vancouver to address the North Korea crisis.
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, made the announcement on Tuesday in Ottawa, together with the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
During a joint news conference with Freeland, Tillerson said that the US continues “to find ways to advance the pressure campaign against North Korea and to send a unified message from the international community: we will not accept you as a nuclear weapons nation.”
The Secretary of State explained that the Jan. 16 summit in Vancouver will be joined by the foreign ministers of the countries that were involved in the Korean War in the middle of the 20th century, in addition to other important nations such as South Korea, Japan, India and Sweden.
The so-called Vancouver Group will discuss “other steps that could be taken to put additional pressure on the regime in North Korea,” as well as how to prepare for the prospects of talks, Tillerson added.
“We share one goal, full and complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. But we can’t talk unless North Korea is ready to talk. We’re waiting for them to indicate a readiness to talk,” Tillerson concluded.
The Secretary of State and his Canadian counterpart stressed on several occasions that the pressure campaign will remain in place and will even be increased “until they agree to give up their nuclear weapons and allow us to verify that that is in fact what they have done.”
For her part, Freeland said that the Vancouver summit is aimed at demonstrating “to North Korea that this is truly a global issue” and that the international community “is united in condemning North Korea’s actions and in understanding them as a threat to our shared security.”
During the meeting held in Ottawa, Freeland and Tillerson also addressed the crisis in Venezuela, the conflict in Ukraine and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).