Canada, U.S. to co-host summit to discuss diplomatic response to North Korea threat
The summit will be co-hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The announcement comes the same day a missile was launched from North Korea, continuing missile tests that had been stalled for 70 days.
The location and dates of the summit are yet to be determined, but it will take place in 2018.
At least a dozen foreign ministers will take part, Reuters reported. One official told the Canadian Press a meeting of this magnitude “hasn’t been done before.”
In a statement, Freeland said that a diplomatic solution is “essential and possible” and will be addressing the North Korea crisis at the summit.
“Canada condemns in the strongest terms North Korea’s continued ballistic missile launches, in direct violation of many United Nations Security Council resolutions. This latest launch is a reckless and dangerous act that threatens regional and global security,” Freeland said in a statement.
“North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs present a direct threat to the world. This threat cannot be tolerated.”
The missile was described as having the longest range compared to other North Korean tests, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday.
Mattis, who was speaking during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House, warned that the Asian country is continuing to build missiles that can “threaten everywhere in the world.”
The missile was launched at dawn Wednesday, local time, from Sain Ni North Korea before landing in the Sea of Japan.
North Korean missiles are believed to be powerful enough to hit Canada, but U.S. officials have previously said their policy isn’t to defend it.
That means that U.S. ballistic missile defence would likely not be used to help Canada in the event of a North Korean missile launch.
The UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting on the missile launch.
The conference had been under discussion for weeks between Freeland and Tillerson, and they chose to announce it late Tuesday after North Korea carried out its longest-ever missile test.
*with a file from the Canadian Press.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.