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Canada To Host Foreign Minster Summit on North Korea

Dec. 20, 2017 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference with Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Ottawa on Tuesday. Freeland announced that the United States and Canada will co-host a Jan. 16 meeting of foreign ministers from around the world in Vancouver, British Columbia, to discuss North Korea.

White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Tillerson, in separate statements, contradicted each other on what President Trump’s intention was regarding talks with North Korea. McMaster said:

"The President has made very clear that on North Korea, for example, now is not the time to talk. And what he means is, there can’t be negotiations under these current conditions.... The problem is now that their programs have advanced so far we don’t have time to do that again, and so we can’t repeat the failed pattern of the past."

(In fact, it is the policy of refusing to talk to North Korea which is the "failed pattern of the past," namely, Obama’s "strategic patience," a policy intended to encourage the North’s weapon program to justify a military buildup around China.)

Tillerson, on the other hand, said that the white House has "not rejected diplomatic talks" with North Korea. "What the White House has merely observed is North Korea has not exhibited a willingness to talk." He said that there should be a pause in testing weapons and missiles, but repeated that the United States is willing to then have talks with no preconditions.

On Monday, White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said the United States believes North Korea was behind the "WannaCry" cyber-attack against hospitals and businesses around the world in May, but offered no new evidence (even Forbes headlines: "U.S. Blames North Korea For WannaCry–But Are Trump’s Cybersleuths Wrong?"). Bossert said that the United States had "used just about everything you can use, short of starving the people of North Korea to death."

South Korean President Moon Jae-in confirmed that he had asked the U.S. military to postpone the scheduled joint military exercises in March until after the Olympics, and that the American command in Seoul said it was considering the request. He told CBS yesterday: "It is possible for South Korea and the U.S. to review the possibility of postponing the drill," but adding that it depended on North Korea not testing in the meantime.