While Donald Trump makes increasingly inflammatory comments about North Korea on Twitter and North Korea performs increasingly terrifying nuclear missile tests, Canada is put in an interesting position. We’re a close ally of the United States, but that doesn’t mean that we want to be blown up along with them. Now that North Korea has proven that they can reach any part of the U.S. with a missile, we know they could also potentially hit Canada or pass over us to hit targets in the U.S. So what is a nation to do?
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 30, 2017
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Tuesday that our countries will be hosting a joint summit to find a non-military solution to the escalating tensions. This isn’t just about U.S.-N.K. relations; North Korea frequently violates regulations put in place by the United Nations with their missile tests and that needs to be addressed. This is the world’s latest idea for how.
Date and exact location have not yet been decided, but the summit will be hosted somewhere in Canada, which can be seen as neutral ground. The foreign ministers of Canada and the U.S. will be there as well as those of other key players in eastern Asia, including Japan, South Korea and possibly China. Minister Freeland was not clear on if North Korea would making an appearance at the table.
The announcement comes hours after North Korea launched a record-setting missile that traveled over 1,000 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan. It went higher than any previous missile and is just the latest test intended to intimidate North Korea’s enemies and the rest of the world. When the country keeps literally setting off bombs, the question of how to approach them and come to a diplomatic agreement is a key one.
Despite countless sanctions against the isolated state from almost the entire world, they don’t seem to be slowing down their testing or their threats aimed at the inflammatory U.S. president (whose response Tuesday was, “We will take care of it”). One option that news analysts have floated is negotiating a peace agreement between N.K. and other countries in the region to replace the current cease-fire that was put in place to end the Korean War in 1953. That is one of the options that may be discussed at this newly-announced summit.
“This is a really serious, incredibly complicated situation and we need to take it seriously and I think we’re all right to be really concerned about it,” Minister Freeland told CTV, “And without in any way diminishing the seriousness of this issue, quite the contrary, I would have to say, that I am optimistic and we must be optimistic because at the end of the day, this is too serious to not be optimistic.” She added that Canada has become a real voice on the world stage and this summit demonstrates that.
“One thing that Canadians should be proud of is how engaged Canada is,” she said, “And that our partners around the world really want Canada not only at the table, but convening the table.”