Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, right to left, and Secretary of State for the United States, Rex Tillerson look on as Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks at the opening remarks of the meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, right to left, and Secretary of State for the United States, Rex Tillerson look on as Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks at the opening remarks of the meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.
Photo Credit: PC / JONATHAN HAYWARD

China and Russia lash out at ‘Cold War era’ Vancouver summit on North Korea

Share

Russia and China lashed out at Canada and the United States Wednesday following the publication of the final document from the meeting of nearly 20 foreign ministers that had gathered in Vancouver to show a common front in the face of North Korea’s rapidly developing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The summit, co-hosted by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, included the original states involved in the UN Command during the 1950-53 Korean War, as well as representatives from South Korea, Japan, India and Sweden.

But China and Russia, two countries that share a land border with North Korea and along with South Korea and Japan stand to lose the most if a war were to break out on the Korean Peninsula, were not invited under the pretext that neither were part of the UN Command.

However, the two countries got a lot of ink in the final document produced at the conclusion of the one-day meeting yesterday.

The co-chairs’ statement once again underlined the central theme of the meeting in Vancouver.

“Nearly seven decades after these states ‎stepped up to restore stability on the Korean Peninsula, Ministers unequivocally declared that North Korea will never be accepted as a nuclear power and committed to exerting continued pressure, including by strengthening sanctions, in order to bring North Korea back to negotiations,” the statement said.

“They reaffirmed that these measures will remain in place until North Korea changes its course and takes decisive, irreversible steps to denuclearize.”

‘Special responsibility’
Secretary of State of the United States, Rex Tillerson adjusts his glasses during the meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.
Secretary of State of the United States, Rex Tillerson adjusts his glasses during the meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. © PC/JONATHAN HAYWARD

The document also stated that a “diplomatic solution is both essential and possible” and recognized “the importance and special responsibility of China and Russia in contributing to a long-term solution on the Korean Peninsula.”

The co-chairs’ also said they “recognize China’s special role and responsibility to contribute to this effort” and called on the international community “work closely with partners in the region and globally, including China and Russia, to ensure full and effective implementation of existing sanctions on North Korea, particularly through enhanced information sharing and expanded support to the UN Panel of Experts, to combat sanctions evasion.”

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said China’s position on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue remains unchanged.

“We are forever committed to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, and peacefully and properly resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation,” Lu said.

‘A product of Cold War era’
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang points out a reporter to receive a question at a regular news conference in Beijing, October 27, 2015.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang points out a reporter to receive a question at a regular news conference in Beijing, October 27, 2015. © Kim Kyung Hoon

But he slammed Canada and the U.S. for their decision to gather the original states involved in the UN command during the 1950-53 Korean War and for excluding China and Russia from the main meeting.

Lu said the UN Command, which fought Chinese and North Korean forces during the war, was “a product of the Cold War era” and “has long lost its relevance.”

“As initiators of the meeting, the U.S. and Canada co-hosted the meeting under the banner of the so-called UN Command sending states,” Lu said.

“That is Cold War mentality pure and simple, and will only drive a wedge among the international community and undermine the concerted efforts to seek proper settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.”

The nature of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is one of security, Lu said.

“Only by addressing the legitimate security concerns of all parties in a balanced way through dialogue can we find an effective pathway towards the peaceful settlement of the Peninsula issue,” he added.

‘Unacceptable and counterproductive’
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during his annual roundup news conference summing up his ministry’s work in 2017, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during his annual roundup news conference summing up his ministry’s work in 2017, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. © Alexander Zemlianichenko

Chinese reaction was echoed in Moscow where the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s information and press service issued a sharply worded reply to the final document released by summit co-chairs Freeland and Tillerson.

The ideas expressed in the document confirmed Russia’s doubts about the “usefulness of this event,” the statement said.

Russian officials “were perplexed at the mention in the document of Russia and China, especially given that the ministers of foreign affairs of the two countries were not invited to the meeting where the Korean problem was supposed to be discussed,” the statement said.

The Russian statement also criticized the participants for allegedly usurping the power of the UN Security Council.

The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry took a particular exception to calls in the final document to impose unilateral sanctions on North Korea and diplomatic actions against Pyongyang that go beyond those required by UN Security Council resolutions.

Russia called such actions “absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive.”

“Such a crude attempt by a group of states whose meeting did not have a UN mandate to undermine the significance of the decisions of the Security Council demonstrates their complete disrespect for this important international institution whose decisions are binding on all states in the world,” the Russian statement said.

“We regret to state that such events, conducted hastily and negatively affecting the functioning of proven multilateral formats, do not contribute to the normalization of the situation around the Korean peninsula, but, on the contrary, aggravate it.”

Officials at Global Affairs Canada could not be reached in time to comment on these statements.

Share
Categories: International, Politics
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette
When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*