Tillerson to attend int'l foreign ministers meeting on North Korea in Canada

China Says Will Close Down N. Korean Firms in Line with Laws and Regulations

In a statement, the White House said "the administration is pleased China is sharply reducing its trade with North Korea", and that it "supports the US -led global effort to apply maximum pressure to end the North's illicit programs, changes its behavior and moves toward denuclearization".

The top US diplomat will be in Vancouver Monday to Wednesday for the Vancouver Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula, Heather Nauert said in a statement.

China's trade with North Korea shrank by more than half last month, as Beijing implements United Nations sanctions against Kim Jong Un's nuclear weapons program.

But Mills would not say whether China had been invited to the Vancouver meeting and declined to provide a list of countries that had received invitations, saying a list of participating states "will be released in due time".

The move was initiated due to Pyongyang's refusal to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, thus violating the UNSC resolutions.

Canadian financial institutions have been ordered to treat what few transactions they conduct with North Korea with even greater diligence as the federal government tries to increase pressure on the nuclear-armed nation.

The penalties that came into force on September 5 previous year banned countries from buying coal, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea.

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A Japanese foreign ministry official, meanwhile, was quoted by Bloomberg News on Wednesday raising questions about the involvement of countries such as Colombia and Greece, which are peripheral to the North Korea crisis.

He also said that China would continue to make its own efforts to push the peninsula nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue and consultation as well as settlement.

The U.S. recently sanctioned several companies and individuals in China, following years of complaints about money-laundering and illicit trade with North Korea.

Asked whether the USA and North Korea could hold talks during the Olympics, Hook said, "No". North Korea agreed to send a delegation to the Olympic Games and both sides agreed to hold talks on reducing tensions along their border.

China and Russian supported the north during that conflict.

Writing for website 38 North, Mr Vorontsov said he was told North Korea is so convinced war is about to about to break out soldiers have been "sleeping without removing their boots".

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