Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
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Ottawa, Aug 12 (IBNS): Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland – greatly concerned about North Korea’s nuclear missile program threats on United States (U.S.) -- pledged Canada’s full support on Friday at Edmonton -- capital of Canada's Alberta province and situated on the North Saskatchewan Riverto -- to the U.S. when tensions arose between Washington, U.S. and Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, media reports said.
“What North Korea is doing is absolutely unacceptable, and is posing an unacceptable security threat both in the region and to the entire world,” Freeland said Friday in Edmonton -- -- after a meeting with agriculture groups in the wake of next week’s North American free-trade talks.
“We are also very clear that we stand by all of our allies, very much including the United States. When they are threatened, we are there,” said Freeland, Globe & Mail News release said.
Although she did not elaborate on Canada’s support, Freeland said the global community unitedly condemned Pyongyang, and was quoted by news reports as saying,
“An advantage that the international community has right now is our unity and our clarity in focusing on what the problem is,” Ms. Freeland said. “The problem is North Korea’s actions, which are threatening, which are disturbing and endangering the security of the region and of the world.
During the conference of Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila, Capital of Phillipines -- Freeland met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and highlighted the need for a peaceful resolution with North Korea and was quoted as saying,
“We’re very involved working with our international partners to seek a resolution, a de-escalation, to really get North Korea to understand it must get off this path which is so destructive for North Korea and for the world.”
When Freeland learnt, during her travel to Beijing -- capital of China -- about China’s support to United Nations Security Council’s resolution on Saturday against North Korea’s refusal to comply with a ban on testing nuclear bombs and missiles, she was quoted by the news report as saying, “I’m very pleased that China took that step.”
Chrystia Freeland. Image credit: Twitter handle
Commenting on Toronto pastor Hyeon Soo Lim’s bravery after his release this week from a North Korean prison -- the result of strong diplomatic efforts, including the work of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national-security adviser, Daniel Jean, and Sweden, which has an embassy in Pyongyang and aids Canada in consular matters -- where he had been sentenced in December 2015, to a lifetime of hard labour after being accused of attempting to overthrow the regime.
Trudeau had issued the following statement on the release of Pastor Lim:
“Today, I am pleased and relieved to confirm that Pastor Lim has been released from jail in North Korea and that he will soon be reunited with his family and friends in Canada.
“The Government of Canada was actively engaged on Mr. Lim’s case at all levels. In particular, I want to thank Sweden, our protecting power in North Korea, for assisting us.
“This week, a Canadian government delegation led by Daniel Jean, my Special Envoy, traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea, to discuss Pastor Lim’s case.
“Pastor Lim’s health and well-being remain of utmost importance to the Government of Canada, and we are working to ensure that he receives any required medical attention.
“Operational security considerations prevent us from discussing the matter further.
“I ask that the family’s wish for privacy be respected.”
Freeland was quoted as saying, “We were clear with North Korea that Pastor Lim needed to be released, and we were very, very glad that that happened.”
“We’ve also been very clear with North Korea, both in direct conversations and publicly, that their nuclear program is a grave threat to the world, that it is something that must be stopped.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)