CLOSINGS: View Closings

US and Canada will host North Korea nuclear meeting

The United States and Canada will co-host an international summit on the North Korean nuclear threat in Vancouver, Br...

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 10:09 AM
Updated: Jan 16, 2018 10:09 AM

The United States and Canada will co-host an international summit on the North Korean nuclear threat in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Tuesday, as tensions on the Korean Peninsula settle into a steady simmer while direct talks between the north and the south continue.

The summit comes at a critical time. But with diplomats' attentions absorbed by the delicate talks between the two neighboring countries -- which were initially focused on North Korea's participation in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics but have since broadened -- some analysts are skeptical that much will come out of the Vancouver meetings.

18 nations, including South Korea and Japan, also will attend the summit

North Korea's largest trading partner, China, will not be participating

"I'm sure, given the circumstances on the peninsula right now, that the attendees to that meeting will be very careful about what they say publicly," Joel Wit, of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, told reporters last week, "because I think most of them there would not want to 'upset the apple cart' in any way."

"I think whatever they do, whatever they say," said Wit, "it's going to be supportive of what the South Korean government is trying to achieve."

Still, the Trump administration is optimistic it can use Tuesday's discussions to advance its so-called "peaceful pressure" or "maximum pressure" campaign, which it believes is partly responsible for North Korea's willingness to resume conversations with South Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will participate in the summit.

Tillerson's efforts on North Korea have, at times, been complicated by bellicose rhetoric from his boss, President Donald Trump.

In October, for instance, Trump tweeted that "Rex is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man."

The two men have endured a rocky relationship in recent months, though Tillerson asserted in a recent CNN interview that he's learned to "better deal with" Trump, and plans to stay in his role at least through 2018.

In the same interview with CNN, Tillerson said that through his tweets, the President "has demonstrated to the world how high the stakes are."

In a news briefing on Thursday, the State Department's director of policy planning, Brian Hook, told reporters that North Korea is "starting to feel the bite" from the campaign, adding, "we think that this creates the kind of conditions that led to discussions between the North and the South about the Olympics."

Negotiators from the two countries met again at the demilitarized zone Monday and agreed to further talks.

Sanctions on the agenda

"We are going to be at this Vancouver ministerial doing an assessment of progress to date," said Hook. "We'll be discussing sanctions -- the sanctions that we have done multilaterally and unilaterally to date -- and their effectiveness, and what we can be doing in the coming year."

The United States and Canada will be joined at the summit by a group of 18 nations including South Korea and Japan.

But North Korea's largest trading partner, China, will not be participating.

"We will give them a readout of this ministerial after it's over," said Hook, "and we have been in discussions with the Chinese and the Russians leading up to this Vancouver ministerial."

"The scope of this, I think, is going to be really limited to reinforcing the UN Security Council's resolutions on the North Korean nuclear issue," says Frank Jannuzi, president and CEO of the Mansfield Foundation, which promotes US-Asian relations, "which means that the main emphasis will be on ensuring solidarity, strict sanctions enforcement."

But the forum's limited guest list could also offer an opportunity for the United States' partners to nudge the Trump administration, at least privately, toward expanding direct talks with the North Korean regime on the nuclear issue, he noted.

In an interview last week with the Wall Street Journal, Trump seemed to signal he was open to more engagement with Pyongyang, saying, "I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un."

"I think that the European powers might be emboldened a little bit (by that) to go ahead and push," Jannuzi suggested to CNN.

Neither Trump nor his White House would clarify whether the President had spoken with the North Korean leader, who he has repeatedly called "Little Rocket Man," although Trump told reporters Sunday that he had been misquoted in the interview.

But China won't be there

One area where diplomats hope to make progress Tuesday is with maritime interdiction: efforts to disrupt the flow of smuggled goods into North Korea in violation of the UN sanctions regime.

"We continue to explore all options to enhance maritime security and the ability to interdict maritime traffic -- those transporting goods to and from the DPRK that support the nuclear and missile program," Hook told reporters, adding that talks would also address ways to disrupt financial transfers to the country.

But without China's participation, critics worry the talks will be fruitless. China has been singled out for criticism by the United States, which says Beijing is not doing enough to crack down on sanctions evaders and that it has allowed the transfer of banned oil.

"Caught RED HANDED," Trump tweeted in December, "very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!"

In his briefing last week, Hook said China was making progress on the issue.

"We've been very pleased that China has certainly given much fuller implementation," he said. "I think they have closed some sanctions gaps."

Jannuzi says the chances for additional action on the interdiction issue are "slim to zero," unless North Korea resumes its provocative behavior.

"I don't see any hope for the US to get support for the idea of boarding ships at sea," he told CNN last week. "The UN Security Council went as far as they were willing to go, with Chinese and Russian support, to allow nations to board ships in port, to inspect them and make sure they're complying with the UN sanctions regime."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 327477

Reported Deaths: 3751
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin688981130
Ramsey28948512
Anoka23196232
Dakota23102194
Washington14590120
Stearns14314121
St. Louis9280117
Scott881056
Wright827145
Olmsted702536
Sherburne608243
Clay521359
Carver501315
Kandiyohi432024
Rice427738
Blue Earth426617
Crow Wing376237
Otter Tail332725
Chisago326914
Benton317253
Nobles313731
Winona292031
Douglas278439
Mower270623
Polk266226
Morrison241730
Lyon228712
Beltrami227518
McLeod226517
Becker217619
Goodhue216930
Steele20568
Itasca202223
Isanti199517
Carlton198417
Todd187414
Nicollet169426
Mille Lacs161231
Freeborn15966
Le Sueur153511
Brown151015
Cass149910
Pine14298
Waseca141811
Meeker139011
Roseau12475
Martin121221
Hubbard117728
Wabasha11041
Redwood101720
Chippewa9508
Cottonwood9284
Renville92729
Dodge9110
Watonwan8824
Wadena8537
Sibley8194
Rock8019
Aitkin79530
Houston7694
Fillmore7480
Pipestone74718
Kanabec67714
Yellow Medicine67612
Pennington6758
Swift6149
Murray6064
Faribault5902
Pope5641
Clearwater5389
Stevens5333
Marshall5289
Jackson5181
Lake4437
Wilkin4115
Koochiching4106
Lac qui Parle3984
Unassigned38259
Lincoln3721
Norman3638
Big Stone3332
Mahnomen3164
Grant2956
Kittson2408
Red Lake2283
Traverse1521
Lake of the Woods1021
Cook790

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 234817

Reported Deaths: 2486
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34631341
Linn14655168
Scott1166189
Black Hawk11194139
Woodbury10622133
Johnson979337
Dubuque941594
Story698323
Pottawattamie664871
Dallas657159
Sioux380529
Webster371639
Cerro Gordo367649
Marshall357647
Clinton341444
Buena Vista313114
Des Moines298621
Muscatine298271
Warren291714
Plymouth284444
Wapello263772
Jones235917
Jasper229746
Lee225617
Marion210222
Carroll203624
Bremer200212
Henry19137
Crawford181016
Benton174023
Tama156641
Washington149715
Jackson148814
Delaware147021
Dickinson143811
Boone142412
Mahaska133328
Wright13007
Clay12254
Buchanan122010
Hardin121011
Hamilton117713
Page11664
Kossuth11608
Clayton11399
Cedar112513
Harrison110832
Floyd110219
Calhoun10907
Fayette108712
Mills10858
Lyon10619
Butler10576
Winneshiek102713
Poweshiek102013
Iowa100213
Winnebago94825
Cherokee9474
Chickasaw9084
Hancock9008
Sac8978
Louisa89321
Grundy88911
Allamakee87013
Mitchell8369
Cass83524
Union8166
Appanoose80713
Humboldt8015
Shelby79511
Emmet78626
Guthrie77115
Franklin76021
Jefferson7512
Madison7174
Unassigned7050
Palo Alto6734
Keokuk6477
Pocahontas5984
Howard5809
Osceola5411
Greene5401
Ida53013
Clarke5004
Montgomery49311
Davis4819
Taylor4773
Monona4516
Monroe45113
Adair4489
Worth3820
Van Buren3755
Fremont3743
Lucas3376
Decatur3290
Wayne3077
Audubon3052
Ringgold2382
Adams1792
Rochester
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 23°
Mason City
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 22°
Albert Lea
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 26°
Austin
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 24°
Charles City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 22°
More sunshine heading into the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

MSHSL announces return to participation plan for winter, spring sports

Image

Improvements to Highway 14 corridor

Image

A plan for dangerous Highway 14

Image

Albert Lea fire claims warehouse

Image

Massive warehouse fire in Albert Lea

Image

Aaron's Thursday Evening Forecast

Image

Hotel Indigo in Rochester adapts to pandemic

Image

Providing a gift for frontline workers

Image

2,000 pigs die in Blooming Prairie farm fire

Image

Gov. Reynolds gives an update on vaccine arrival

Community Events