Thursday, January 11, 2018

US, Canada Ministerial Aims to Provide Mechanisms to Pressure North Korea (Original article contains links.)

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - An upcoming ministerial meeting in the Canadian city of Vancouver aims to identify ways to continue pressuring North Korea into abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, US State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook told reporters on Thursday.

"The goal of the ministerial is to provide a practical mechanism, mechanisms to exert continued pressure on the Kim regime while demonstrating that diplomatic options remain open and viable," Hook said during a State Department press briefing.

"We'll be doing an assessment of progress to date. We'll be discussing sanctions … We'll be discussing the importance of nonproliferation and we'll be discussing diplomatic options to achieve our goals of a denuclearized Korean peninsula," he added.

When asked if the United States would consider talks with North Korean counterparts during the Olympics, Hook responded, "No."

"I think we'll look at all things on the table. All things will be on the table. But we've been very clear that the sanctions have been effective," US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein said when asked whether the idea of a naval blockade would be discussed in Vancouver.

Goldstein noted that Russia and China will be informed of the outcomes of the foreign ministers meeting.

"China and Russia were not invited to the meeting, but will be informed of the results of the meeting," Goldstein said on Thursday.

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