Ministers to discuss maritime interdiction at NK meeting in Canada

Trump hints at ‘good relationship with Jong-un

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to attend North Korea talks scheduled for later this month in Canada amid rumors he's fallen out of favor with his boss.

He explained: "If the Chinese ever are foolish enough to go into North Korea [in a military capacity], I applaud them because they'd be going into a nasty place and all the problems we [South Korea] now have would be theirs". The official, who asked not to be identified in line with government policy, said Japan had been given no details on who would attend, what would be discussed or how the event would be organized. That's not only because there are other stakeholders, but also because Pyongyang still refuses to relinquish its pursuit of nuclear weapons - grounds for war, according to the United States, which has been placed in the firing line.

The goal is to find ways to put the brakes on smuggling and money-laundering tactics North Korea employs to avoid United Nations sanctions and fund its nuclear program, as well as to prevent commodities like oil from being delivered to the country.

It would be, in effect, an embargo on shipping.

China is taking aim at an global summit on North Korea in Vancouver next week, saying the event co-hosted by Canada and the United States is likely to do more harm than good. Both men have routinely denied any major misunderstandings between them, but their public representations of US foreign policy have not always aligned.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at the press briefing on January 8 that China will strictly follow the Security Council's resolution and fulfill its due worldwide obligations.

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.

Analyst Mark Valencia, a researcher at China's National Institute for South China Sea Studies, warned past year that attempts to authorize high-seas interdictions would essentially legalize an act of war - an opposed boarding of another flag state's vessel - and potentially undermine the principle of freedom of navigation.

"If both China and Russian Federation are absent from the meeting, then the significance and the utility of the gathering will be greatly discounted", Wenran Jiang, an expert on Asian politics from the University of Alberta, said in an email.

He also said China has the same goal as the allies.

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