TORONTO, ON. (NEWS 1130) – Canada and Japan signed a military co-operation agreement ahead of Sunday’s G7 foreign ministers meeting where the North Korean nuclear crisis will be front and centre.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono signed an efficiency agreement Saturday night that will allow each other’s militaries to share equipment during joint exercises in Canada, Japan and elsewhere.
Freeland and Kono met last month in Tokyo where they affirmed their commitment to keep economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear program when they meet their G7 counterparts today in Toronto.
The gathering is part of the regularly scheduled run-up ministerial meetings ahead of the G7 leaders’ June summit in Charlevoix, Que., but its timing is giving its foreign ministers an opportune time to discuss key developments in the North Korea nuclear standoff.
Their meeting comes days after North Korea pledged to suspend testing of its nuclear and long-range missiles and close its nuclear test site, and days ahead of this week’s historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In.
US President Donald Trump is also working on his own landmark meeting with the North Korean leader in the coming weeks and has tweeted that Kim’s latest announcements are a sign of progress.
Freeland also wants the disruptive influence of Russia and the West to be a top agenda item, and has asked Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin to join part of today’s talks.
Freeland views the clash of the forces of democracy and authoritarianism as a defining feature of our time and she has singled out Russian President Vladimir Putin as a major disrupter.
Freeland will be joined tomorrow by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale who will lead his G7 ministerial counterparts in talks on terrorism and cyber security.