Canada’s FM Baird Welcomes Expanded Sanctions Against North Korea

Canadian FM John Baird7 March 2013 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada welcomes the expanded sanctions against North Korea adopted today at the United Nations Security Council and is proud to have been a co-sponsor.

“This response to North Korea’s reckless nuclear test in early February sends a clear and strong message to those responsible in Pyongyang.

“The true travesty is that the North Korean people continue to starve and are denied basic human rights while the regime in Pyongyang squanders limited resources.

“The international community had clearly warned North Korea that its belligerent actions would bear consequences.

“It is high time that the Government of North Korea reverse this dangerous course, abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and focus its scarce resources on the living conditions of its people.

“Canada will continue to work with our international partners to pursue all appropriate actions against the rogue regime in North Korea.”

For more information on the extent of the sanctions and the available exemptions Canada has already imposed against North Korea, please see North Korea: Overview of New Sanctions and a May 2010 statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

North Korea ‘delights’ in provoking: Harper

[The following is an article by Jessica Murphy,  QMI Agency, dated 27 March 2012. –CanKor]

Baird visits Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea

Foreign Minister Baird visits Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea

North Korea “delights” in ruffling the feathers of its critics, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday.

Harper was in South Korea attending a 53-nation summit aimed at boosting global efforts to improve nuclear security – not dealing with the nuclear programs of rogue states.

But with North Korea about 50 kilometres from the summit site and threatening to launch a rocket next month, it was inevitable the regime’s plans would become a factor.”I think there is a virtually universal assessment here – that Canada would share – that the recent actions by North Korea and launching the satellite are a contravention of UN resolutions,” Harper told reporters.

“We would obviously attempt to encourage them, dissuade them from any such action. Although as you know, unfortunately this regime seems to delight in irritating the international community.”

On Tuesday, a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians, including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, paid a visit to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Read the rest of this entry »

North Korean defectors resettle, raise awareness in Canada

By Kyle Burton, Yonhap News Agency,  29 January 2012

Hundreds of years after European migrants traveled to North America seeking refuge and opportunity, groups of North Korean defectors have begun to resettle in Canada, with many calling the city of Toronto their new home.

Heo Tae-seop, a North Korean defector who settled in Toronto last year. (Courtesy of Kyle Burton)

Canada accepted 83 North Korean refugees in 2011, double the number of the previous year.

Heo Tae-seop is a North Korean defector who has been living in Toronto since May. For people like Heo, the consequences of attempting an escape can be severe. Those caught are repatriated and reportedly receive severe punishment. Some lucky individuals manage to sneak through the border and into China, while others navigate the harsh ocean waters to South Korea. Then, there are those who make the journey to North America where an entirely new life awaits.

“People who have just defected from North Korea do not know about democracy because they have been closed off from the world for so long,” said Heo. “For example, I am 48 years old, but in Canada I feel like I am a 1-year-old baby because I don’t know anything about Toronto or this country.” Read the rest of this entry »

Striking good-riddance tone, Prime Minister Harper calls for change in North Korea

[by Campbell Clark, Ottawa— Globe and Mail Update. Posted on Monday, 19 December 2011.]

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Photo by Globe & Mail)

Stephen Harper is marking the death of North Korea’s dictator with no condolence and a call for change. But most of the world is hoping the country makes no sudden moves.

The passing of Kim Jong-il, who ruled the nation for two decades with repressive authoritarianism, has raised fears that a regime in transition will strike out at its neighbour, South Korea. Pyongyang added an extra shot of nerves to its history as an unpredictable actor when it conducted a short-range missile test right after the dictator’s death.

In Canada, the Prime Minister acknowledged the death of a dictator with a unconcealed undertone of good riddance. Read the rest of this entry »

Canadian PM Statement on the death of Kim Jong Il

Canadian PM Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the death of Kim Jong-il:

“Kim Jong-il will be remembered as the leader of a totalitarian regime who violated the basic rights of the North Korean people for nearly two decades.
“We hope his passing brings positive change allowing the people of North Korea to emerge from six decades of isolation, oppression and misery. The regime’s reckless decisions have resulted in North Korea being an impoverished nation and a country isolated from the international community because of its dangerous nuclear proliferation and ballistic missile programs.
“At this critical juncture, we urge North Korea to close this sad chapter in its history and to work once more towards promoting both the well-being of its people and stability on the Korean peninsula.”

Statement on PM Harper’s website.

Canadian News on Revamped KCNA Website

In case you have not yet had a chance to visit, do check out the completely revamped (North) Korean Central News Agency website. Not only has the site become a lot more functional, with a left-hand menu that allows you to browse (in addition to “Kim Jong Il’s Activities”) subject matter such as politics, economy, culture and nature, as well as picture and videos.

More interesting yet, the daily news items now include international news. Today, for example, there is an item about Canadian internal affairs: Canada′s Harper Government Defeated by Parliament Non-Confidence Vote.

Stephen Harper

Harper after non-confidence vote (photo by Reuters)

Pyongyang, March 30 (KCNA) — The Canadian House of Commons passed on Mar. 25 a non-confidence motion tabled by opposition parties, defeating the ruling Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper for contempt of Parliament.

It made the Harper government the first one defeated for being in contempt of Parliament in Canada’s history.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said that the government is in contempt of Parliament for refusing to supply enough information on the cost of the F-35 fighter jets procurement, their justice system reforms and their projections for corporate profits and tax rates. -0-

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