Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday March 10, 2018
Trump announcement on talks with North Korea gets mixed reactions
World leaders welcomed prospects for a possible thaw in the long standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to hold an unprecedented meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump and Kim prompted jitters around the world last year as they exchanged bellicose insults over the North’s attempts to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States, which it has pursued in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
But tension eased around last month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, laying the groundwork for what would be the first meeting between leaders from North Korea and the U.S., and the biggest foreign policy gamble for Trump since he took office in January last year.
“A meeting is being planned,” Trump said on Twitter after accepting an invitation to meet from Kim. There was no date or venue yet for the meeting although it could take place in May.
A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s said in a statement that Canada has “always believed that a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis is essential and possible.”
Canada and the U.S. recently co-hosted a summit in Vancouver to discuss efforts to find a peaceful path to deal with North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic weapon programs.
Japan, however, remained cautious.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump, in a call on Thursday, vowed to continue to enforce sanctions until Pyongyang took “tangible steps … toward denuclearization,” the White House said in a statement late Thursday.
“Japan and the United States will not waver in their firm stance that they will continue to put maximum pressure until North Korea takes concrete action toward the complete, verifiable and irreversible end to nuclear missile development,” Abe told reporters in Tokyo. (Source: CBC News)