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Vancouver's North Korea meeting: Opaque agenda, odd group of participants

China's trade with North Korea plunged 50 percent in December as United Nations sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development tightened, the government reported Friday.

In response to North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing, such as the launches of three intercontinental ballistic missiles and the detonation of a staged thermonuclear bomb created to level cities, the U.N. Security Council has imposed tough sanctions on the rogue regime.

Canada and the United States are co-hosting the meeting in Vancouver on 16th of this month to demonstrate global solidarity against North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

After months of soaring tensions, North Korea agreed this week to send athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, in what was seen as a potential sign of a cooling-off period.

The Trudeau government has provided little information in the days leading up to the Vancouver summit, despite being a co-host, and appears to be instead consumed with the threat of a trade war with the U.S.

Vancouver's North Korea meeting: Opaque agenda, odd group of participants
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Marius Grinius, a former diplomat who served as ambassador to both South Korea and North Korea just over a decade ago, said the meeting could also signal Canada's intention to become more involved in the North Korea issue.

State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook briefed reporters on the meeting, which will be held on Tuesday in Vancouver, Canada.

US President Donald Trump yesterday suggested he could have a good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but refused to say if the two had spoken. China and Russian Federation, which both oppose the proposal for maritime interdiction, have not been invited to the summit.

However, some key players will not participate in the event: North Korea itself, as well as Russian Federation and China, which are opposing the event, urging the sides of the conflict to engage in talks and stop actions, which might potentially escalate it (proposing so-called "double-freeze" plan).

"We do not consider it possible to support an event that could lead to an aggravation of the already tense situation on the Korean Peninsula ..."

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