'Vancouver summit' to open on Tuesday... but absence of China and Russia felt

미•캐나다 주도 16개국, 16일 밴쿠버서 한반도 안보 논의…중•러 불참
South Korea's foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, will set off to Canada later today, to attend a high-level international meeting on the situation with North Korea.
However, the absence of nations like China and Russia, has led some, including Beijing, to challenge the meeting's credibility.
Kwon Jang-ho briefs us on what to expect.
The inaugural Vancouver Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula will open on Tuesday.
Co-hosted by the U.S. and Canada, it looks to extend the international effort to find a peaceful resolution to the North Korea nuclear situation.
Those invited are being called the 'Vancouver Group', and will include most nations that fought in the Korean war under the UN flag, such as the UK, France and Turkey, as well as South Korea, and other interested parties, like India, Japan and Sweden.
However, notable absentees from the list include China, Russia and North Korea.
It's unclear whether they were formally invited or not, but their absence has caused some to question the effectiveness and purpose of the meeting.
Beijing has criticized the gathering, saying that without all the major relevant parties involved, the meeting would not help the situation on the Korean peninsula, and only create further divisions in the international community on the issue.

The main outcome of the summit could be an agreement to push for further pressure on the regime, especially to try and disrupt ships transporting illicit oil supplies to the regime at sea.
However, the mood of the meeting has changed since the meeting was first announced in December.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have dropped after North Korea reopened dialogue with the South for the first time in two years to try and take part in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics next month, and the calls for an immediate hardline stance on the regime have also softened with it.

Aside from the main gathering, like other international events of this kind, the summit also offers the opportunity for sideline meetings to take place between individual countries.
A trilateral South Korea-U.S.-Japan meeting has been touted, as well as a separate South Korea-U.S. meeting.
But perhaps the most highly anticipated will be the potential Seoul foreign minister's meeting with her Tokyo counterpart.
South Korea-Japan relations have soured again in recent weeks, after the Moon administration condemned the controversial 2015 Seoul-Tokyo agreement on the issue of Japanese wartime sex slavery.
While Seoul did not ask for a renegotiation, it has called on Tokyo to offer a 'sincere apology' to the victims.
Tokyo has argued that the agreement was an apology, and that Seoul cannot simply ignore it.
It's not clear what could come from the meeting, but it promises to be a highly charged affair.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.


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