US Seeks to Interdict North Korean Shipping

Steve Herman

Steve Herman Verified account @W7VOA

Japan, South Korea and countries that supplied United Nations troops to the South during the Korean War in the 1950s will take part.

China said Wednesday it will not attend next week's meeting of foreign ministers in Canada to discuss how best to respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea has repeatedly asserted that sanctions are killing its people while claiming that worldwide diplomatic and economic pressure will never derail its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development programs, essentially telling the world that the regime will starve its people before abandoning its weapons of mass destruction.

In November, China stopped exporting oil products to North Korea, after the U.N. Security Council that month imposed new caps on trade with North Korea, including limiting oil product shipments. It will be co-hosted by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. South Korea recenly seized two product tankers on charges of making illicit high-seas fuel transfers to North Korean ships, but these arrests occurred in port, not in global waters. China and Russian Federation, which both oppose the proposal for maritime interdiction, have not been invited to the summit.

North Korea was also not invited and would first have to indicate a willingness to put down its nuclear weapons before being asked to join any such meeting, Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, told the same briefing.

Steve Herman
Steve Herman Verified account @W7VOA

Senior-level delegations from South Korea and the DPRK met Tuesday in the truce village of Panmunjom, agreeing to hold a separate inter-Korean dialogue on military affairs.

North Korea recently reinitiated contact with South Korea by agreeing to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held east of Seoul in February.

According to him, North Koreans officials believe the USA public opinion is inching closer to supporting a pre-emptive strike because they fear Pyongyang would attack the soon as it had the opportunity to do so-a serious misperception, one diplomat told Vorontsov.

China reported earlier that its imports from North Korea plunged 33 per cent past year - and 81.6 per cent in December.

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