The foreign ministers of the group of allied countries that fought in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 against the Soviet bloc meet tomorrow, Tuesday, in Vancouver (Canada) to discuss measures against North Korea, including a possible maritime bloc .
The meeting, organized jointly by Canada and the United States, brings together almost 20 countries, including France, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, India, Colombia and Greece, and the attendance of at least 11 ministers is expected. Foreign Affairs
The summit comes at a time of high tension between North Korea and the United States over the ballistic tests of the Pyongyang regime and the rhetoric of US President Donald Trump.
The meeting also takes place when the two Koreas have resumed talks that could culminate in the possible participation of North Korean athletes in the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games (South Korea), which will be held from 9 to 25 February.
But the two former members of the Soviet bloc, Russia and China, as well as North Korea, have been excluded by the organizers, which has led to the rejection of the authorities in Beijing and Moscow.
Canada and the United States have indicated that although they have not invited Moscow and Beijing, the two main allies of North Korea, to Vancouver, “they will be informed of the results of the meeting.”
Although the summit organizers have minimized the absence of their former enemies, China said last week that the summit “will only create divisions within the international community and will damage efforts to properly resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.” ”
In similar terms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described the meeting of foreign ministers as “pernicious and harmful” to resolve the crisis.
In this context, the representatives of the United States have indicated that the Vancouver summit must serve so that the international community looks for ways to “prevent North Korea’s efforts to evade United Nations sanctions with contraband.”
The words of the US representatives suggest that the main focus of the summit will be the implementation of a kind of naval block to prevent North Korea from receiving, for example, supplies of oil and other products through the sea.
In this regard, the Chief of Staff of Canada, General Jonathan Vance, in statements made today in the main Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, said that Ottawa “has the military capacity” to participate in a possible maritime blockade of Korea from North.
The possibility that the foreign ministers agree in Vancouver some type of maritime blockade also helps to explain the absence of the summit of Russia.
At the end of December, reports appeared that Russian oilmen were violating the economic sanctions imposed by the UN on North Korea by supplying oil to the Pyongyang regime.
The UN adopted at the end of 2017 a new round of sanctions against North Korea that allows the inspection and apprehension of ships that transport embargoed products to North Korea.
But the Canadian public broadcaster, CBC, said today that according to sources of the Liberal Party of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, one of the main objectives of the summit is actually to cement the position of the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in the tight rope with Trump.
Precisely Tillerson is meeting tonight in Vancouver with Canada’s Foreign Minister, the influential Chrystia Freeland, to discuss the details of the summit shortly before it officially begins tomorrow.
Tillerson and Freeland’s working dinner will also be attended by US Defense Secretary James Mattis, as well as Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan. efe