Canada and the perverse challenge of Northeast Asian regional security, by Paul Evans

[The following paper by CanKor Brain Trust member Paul Evans was originally presented at the “New Approach to Security in Northeast Asia: Breaking the Gridlock” workshop held on October 9th and 10th, 2012 in Washington, DC. The workshop was organized by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Dr. Evans is Professor at the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia. –CanKor]

Paul Evans 2010 bFor a little more than a decade starting with the end of the Cold War in Europe Canada was an engaged, proactive and sometimes innovative player in multilateral security issues in Northeast Asia. It initiated the North Pacific Cooperative Security Dialogue between 1990 and 1993, a pioneering track-two process including the principal six in Northeast Asia plus Canada and Mongolia intended to lay the foundation for an inclusive regional process in a region re-framed as the North Pacific. It pursued an “engagement without illusions” approach to North Korea that included encouragement of multiple levels of academic and NGO connections and eventually led in 2001 to the establishment of diplomatic relations. The government provided financial assistance to KEDO and supported diplomats and academics in multiple track-two meetings on a multilateral and bilateral basis that focused on regional frameworks and initiatives, including on arms control, missile defense weaponization of space, and non-proliferation.

Resource constraints and a chill of relations with North Korea as the extent of its nuclear ambitions became clear tempered some of these ambitions between 2001 and 2005, though the Liberal government was inclined to support the possibility of Canada playing an active “second circle” role as needed to advance the Six Party Talks. Read the rest of this entry »

Ottawa Round Table Part 3 – Canada-DPRK Bilateral Relations by Hartmuth Kroll

Canada-North Korea Bilateral Relations

Ottawa Round Table on Humanitarian Aid in the Current North Korean Context, 5 March 2012

Background

  • Crossed flag pin by Promex GmbH

    Without belabouring the point, the Asia Pacific region matters to Canada, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) has long been a destabilizing element in the region.

  • In February 2001, with the support and encouragement of its regional allies. Canada established diplomatic relations with the DPRK.
  • This initiative reflected the view that, over the long term, engagement offered the best prospects for integrating North Korea into the international community of nations.
  • Long-term goals for engagement included full denuclearization, improved governance and political reform, improved human rights and enhanced regional security. Nonetheless, there were few illusions as to what could be achieved immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing Chicken: Response from Pyongyang

[The article entitled “ Playing Chicken at the Brink ” has garnered a number of interesting reactions . As a first for CanKor, we have received a direct response to the article from Pyongyang. The letter below was authored by Ryu Kyong Il, Secretary-General of the Korean National Peace Committee (KNPC), dated 31 December 2010. (Emphases have been retained from the original.)]

Dear Mr Erich Weingartner,

I read your interesting and ironic essay “Playing Chicken at the Brink”.

I think the Question goes not for “who is the winner?” but for “who will be the winner?”

When there was another LMB’s military provocation as firing thousands of bullets and shells from the sensitive area of Yonphyong Island in the West Sea of Korea, despite strong warning of the KPA and condemnation of the public at home and abroad, the KPA Supreme Command released the report: Read the rest of this entry »

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