Pulling Canadian diplomats out of North Korea was a mistake, says former envoy

Pulling Canadian diplomats out of North Korea was a mistake, says former envoy
From Global News - January 14, 2018

Pulling Canadian diplomats out of North Korea seven years ago was a mistake, says a former ambassador to the Korean Peninsula.

Marius Grinius served as Canadas envoy to South Korea from 2004 to 2007 and concurrently as our ambassador to North Korea from 2005 to 2007. During a panel discussion this weekend, he told The West Blocks Vassy Kapelos that there were reasons for Canadas withdrawal in May 2010 namely the sinking of a South Korean warshipbut Canada has lost a foothold inPyongyang as a result.

Im fully supportive of a total reversal of (the decision to cut ties), Grinius said. Im not advocating an embassy, but I am advocating regular visits.

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Canada, which is getting set to host a series of meetings this week in Vancouver on the North Korean nuclear threat, needs a presence in the country to observe for ourselves whats going on, he explained.

The second-hand diplomacy currently happening via Canadas allies isnt enough.

Diplomacy works best when you talk to your enemies, your possible enemies, like we did with the Soviet Union, with China after the Tiananmen massacre,Grinius said.

Also joining Kapelos on The West Block was former U.S. State Department official Bonnie Jenkins. She said that in spite of U.S. President Donald Trumps shifting moods on North Korea, there are officials like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who are more consistent.


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