Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (centre) chairs a meeting of her counterparts from France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy and the European Union during a Foreign Ministers’ Working session discussing the Middle East, in Toronto on Sunday, April 22, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

World needs to be ‘careful’ about Korean peace deal, says Canadian minister

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said that no one should expect a formal end to hostilities to happen quickly

Canadian officials are expressing optimism over a pledge by North and South Korea to work toward a formal end to the Korean War by year’s end, but say denuclearization of the peninsula should be the overarching goal of peace talks.

Related: Korean leaders pledge denuclearization in historic meeting

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, in Washington for expanded talks aimed at reaching a new NAFTA deal, congratulated South Korean President Moon Jae-in for taking steps to engage North Korea to end the decades-long conflict between the two countries.

Freeland cautions, however, that no one should expect a formal end to hostilities between the neighbouring nations to happen quickly, or without difficulties.

Related: NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

She says Canada, along with the rest of the world, will be watching to ensure North Korea gives up on its nuclear ambitions as part of the peace process.

The North has spent decades building up an atomic arsenal as a deterrent against an invasion either from its southern counterpart or from the United States.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole says many Canadians, especially those who fought in the Korean conflict, will be watching as the process unfolds, hoping for a lasting peace.

Related: Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearize. It hasn’t.

The Canadian Press

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