Lib­er­als as­sess North Korea’s threat daily, says Trudeau af­ter shot over Ja­pan

The Miracle - - National & Int - Source: CBC News

Canada is con­duct­ing daily threat as­sess­ments of North Korea’s provoca­tive mis­sile tests, in­clud­ing its most re­cent blast over Ja­pan, Justin Trudeau said Tues­day. But the prime min­is­ter steered clear of a di­vi­sive se­cu­rity is­sue that has long had do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal ram­i­fi­ca­tions: the U.S. mis­sile shield for North Amer­ica, which suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have avoided for more than a decade. Trudeau and For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land crit­i­cized North Korea’s latest mis­sile test as a threat to world peace, and urged a diplo­matic so­lu­tion to the es­ca­lat­ing nu­clear cri­sis. “Th­ese are things that en­dan­ger not just re­gional sta­bil­ity but world peace,” Trudeau said in French as he hosted Jor­dan’s King Ab­dul­lah in Ot­tawa. “This is an is­sue that is of con­cern to us daily and we will con­tinue day by day to con­tinue what we need to do keep Cana­di­ans safe.” Trudeau said last week that Canada’s “long-stand­ing” po­si­tion on stay­ing out of the U.S. mis­sile de­fence pro­gram would not be chang­ing any time soon. The is­sue has resur­faced since a North Korean launch in early July raised the pos­si­bil­ity the coun­try had cre­ated an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile ca­pa­ble of reach­ing North Amer­ica. “North Korea’s reck­less vi­o­la­tion of its neigh­bours’ ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty and its di­rect threat to Ja­pan’s cit­i­zens have threat­ened both re­gional and in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity,” Free­land said in a state­ment Tues­day. Free­land called on North Korea to “re­sume di­a­logue to­ward a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion.” The latest in a se­ries of mis­sile tests came as South Korea and the U.S. con­ducted war games in the re­gion. U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who had a 40-minute con­ver­sa­tion with Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, said all op­tions are on the ta­ble. Last week, the House of Com­mons de­fence com­mit­tee held a rare sum­mer sit­ting to dis­cuss North Korea and whether Canada should con­sider join­ing the U.S. bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­fence shield. The is­sue has been a volatile one in Cana­dian pol­i­tics since the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment of Paul Martin in 2005 sur­prised the then-Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion with its de­ci­sion to opt out of the Pen­tagon’s pro­posed BMD pro­gram. Martin was lead­ing a short-lived mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment, and join­ing the U.S. mis­sile shield was un­pop­u­lar in Que­bec. Con­ser­va­tive Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper also steered clear of the is­sue when it arose dur­ing his near-decade in power. At least one cur­rent Lib­eral MP and one for­mer sen­a­tor have said Canada should con­sider join­ing the pro­gram. Fen Hampson, di­rec­tor of the global se­cu­rity pro­gram at the Cen­tre for In­ter­na­tional Gov­er­nance In­no­va­tion, said the gov­ern­ment should un­der­take a care­ful anal­y­sis of the idea, since North Korea’s evolv­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties are test­ing old as­sump­tions. A decade ago, there was a “strong strate­gic ra­tio­nale” for not join­ing the U.S. pro­gram be­cause it could be seen as “un­der­min­ing de­ter­rence or get­ting into an es­ca­lat­ing arms race,” he said. That was then. “North Korea has ex­ceeded every ex­pec­ta­tion in terms of its abil­ity to both de­velop nu­clear weapons — they’re ob­vi­ously mov­ing quickly to minia­tur­ize them — and de­vel­op­ing in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal mis­sile ca­pa­bil­ity.” Dou­glas Roche, a for­mer Cana­dian sen­a­tor dis­ar­ma­ment am­bas­sador, said there’s no way Canada should re­con­sider bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­fence be­cause the tech­nol­ogy doesn’t work and it does noth­ing to en­cour­age nu­clear armed states to cut back their ar­se­nals. “It’s a stim­u­lant to the nu­clear arms race,” Roche said. “That’s the worst thing Canada could do in the cur­rent cri­sis.” Roche said the gov­ern­ment needs to ar­tic­u­late a clearer ap­proach to curb­ing nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion than was laid out by Free­land in her ma­jor speech on Canada’s for­eign pol­icy in June. “It was full of a lot of good things but it didn’t re­ally seize the mo­ment,” he said. “The pil­lars of global se­cu­rity are arms con­trol and dis­ar­ma­ment, eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and hu­man rights.” Canada’s re­cently re­leased de­fence pol­icy ac­knowl­edges the threat posed by North Korea, but does not specif­i­cally deal with the ques­tion of whether Canada should con­sider join­ing a U.S.-led bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­fence pro­gram. The pol­icy said the gov­ern­ment planned to dis­cuss with the U.S. ways to im­prove con­ti­nen­tal de­fences against sev­eral threats, in­clud­ing bal­lis­tic mis­siles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.