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World leaders in Vancouver say doing nothing about North Korea is not an option

Last Updated Jan 16, 2018 at 7:45 pm PDT

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland at State at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – World leaders in Vancouver say doing nothing about North Korea is not an option and have discussed ways to increase pressure on Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program.

Leaders at a 20-nation summit on the North Korea situation have discussed how to enforce sanctions on the country.

In a press conference held after the meetings in Vancouver, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the common goal of the countries at the summit was to meet the safety and security of the Korean Peninsula.

“We cannot stand by as this threat persists and worsens.”

Freeland said the 20 nations have agreed they must work together to ensure sanctions on North Korea are strictly enforced.

“We, as a group, harbour no hostility whatsoever towards North Korea or its people. We seek neither a regime change nor a collapse.”

“What we do want is to resolve this crisis peacefully. A North Korea that commits to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear program will have a secure place in the international community.”

Freeland announced a $3.2 million investment in strengthening global sanctions against North Korea.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the countries discussed ways to increase pressure on North Korea through more effective sanctions implementation.

“We will not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. All of us share one policy and one goal, and that is the complete, verifiable and irreversible de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Tillerson wouldn’t be drawn on the possibility of a “bloody nose” option in dealing with North Korea. He was asked whether he thought it was a bad idea for a limited military strike, a so-called “bloody nose”, to send a message to North Korea rather than start a war.

“I’m not going to comment on issues that have yet to be decided among the National Security Council or the President. So I have no comment on the quote bloody nose, as you named it.”

The meetings have been looking at how to crack down on the smuggling and money-laundering schemes Pyongyang uses to sidestep sanctions and pay for its nuclear program.

The one-day gathering was co-hosted by Canada and the United States. It was mostly made up of countries that fought under the United Nations flag during the Korean War. Russia and China weren’t at the meeting and criticized the decision to hold the gathering, calling it unhelpful and even potentially harmful to the prospects for peace with North Korea.