White House hails dip in Chinese trade with North Korea


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 White House praised China's moves to reduce its trade with North Korea on Friday, saying it will help the USA -led effort to apply maximum pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

Trudeau said Canada "looks forward" to engaging with worldwide partners at the summit.

Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Amy Mills said Canada recognizes the essential role that China has to play in any diplomatic efforts involving North Korea, and has "repeatedly engaged" with it about the Vancouver meeting.

The previous Conservative government in 2010 adopted a policy of "controlled engagement", severely restricting its dealings with North Korea to just a few areas.

That will ultimately decide whether the government views the Vancouver meeting as a success.

Instead, only those countries that deployed troops as part of the United Nations during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 have been invited to participate in the discussions, which China has blasted as "Cold War thinking". China and Russian Federation, which both oppose the proposal for maritime interdiction, have not been invited to the summit.

"There's no expectation that this meeting in Vancouver will be where a resolution to the crisis is going to be discussed".

But academic George Lopez said the potential for the summit should not be underestimated as it brings together key players such as the United States, South Korea and Japan for the first time since the crisis has escalated.

The goal, ostensibly, is to get the regime to give up its nuclear capabilities.

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).

Trucks cross the Friendship Bridge on the Yalu river from Sinuiju, North Korea, to Dandong, Liaoning province, China January 8, 2018. "I think you people are surprised", he added.