Meeting on North Korea crisis to be held in Canada after Christmas


Posted at Nov 29 2017 08:29 AM

OTTAWA - A planned meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the North Korean crisis is not scheduled to take place before the Christmas break in late December, a Canadian official said on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada would co-host the meeting with the United States on Canadian soil. At least a dozen foreign ministers will be involved, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the situation.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, condemning a North Korean missile test earlier in the day, said the meeting would include South Korea, Japan and other affected nations, to discuss "how the global community can counter North Korea's threat to international peace."

Freeland had been discussing North Korea with counterparts in recent months, including those from the United States, South Korea, Japan, Australia and China, said the Canadian official.

Canada was a good choice to host a meeting because it was less directly involved in the crisis than the United States, Japan, South Korea or China, said the official.

"There are fewer implications to us convening a constructive conversation," added the official, saying no decisions on a venue or who would be invited had been made. 

North Korea earlier fired a ballistic missile from an area near Pyongyang, South Korea's military said, while the Japanese government said it may have landed in the country's exclusive economic zone.

The launch of the missile came after the United States placed North Korea back on Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism last week as part of efforts to increase pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.