China's trade with North Korea tumbles over United Nations sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at a news conference during the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver British Columbia

Speaking to the Star on Friday, Shin said the nations gathering at the summit must strike a balance between stiff economic sanctions and a willingness to talk as they attempt to shut down North Korea's nuclear program.

"In terms of how big of an impact it (falling trade) had on North Korea, there was definitely impact because some of their products could only go to China while others could only be imported from China", said Chen Fengying, an economics expert at state-backed China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. "We hope they will attend", he said of China Dec. 20, the day Freeland announced details alongside U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Ottawa.

He also said China and Russian Federation, which have not been invited, will be briefed on the discussions after the meeting.

But it was not immediately clear Thursday who else will be on hand. But there was a desire on the Canadian side to invite the Chinese to Vancouver for side meetings.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the Trump administration is "pleased" China has sharply reduced trade with North Korea.

Vice President Mike Pence will lead the official U.S. delegation. "Any meeting organized in the name of the so called "UN Command" reflects Cold War thinking, which will only create divisions in the global community and undermine the joint efforts that are being made to resolve properly the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue", the statement says.

China and Russian Federation - despite not being invited to a conference in Canada on the North Korea crisis - must help defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. "The main channels for handling and resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue should still be the framework of six party talks and the UN Security Council". The State Department's director of policy planning Brian Hook says Washington will look for practical mechanisms to pressure Pyongyang. "This is not an alternative to everything that we are doing", Hook said.

Welcoming talks between North Korea and South Korea, India today said any solution to the Korean Peninsula must address concerns about Pyongyang's proliferation linkages.

Russian Federation is also expected to be absent along with China, meaning two of North Korea's most important and influential neighbours will be missing when Freeland and Tillerson sit down with other foreign ministers.

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