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Trudeau says Canada ready to partner with S Korea against North

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves upon his arrival at the Seoul airport in Seongnam, South Korea, on May 16, 2023. (Photo by AP)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged his country’s military commitment to South Korea’s hostile campaign against North Korea, joining the US-led alliance of surging assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Canada is committed to increase not just our trade, but also our military engagement as a means of mitigating threats to regional security," Trudeau declared Wednesday while addressing the South Korean parliament during his first formal visit to the country.

He added that Canada is committed to supporting the Republic of Korea’s efforts towards a denuclearized, peaceful and prosperous Korean peninsula, in following Washington’s official line against Pyongyang’s efforts to ward off persisting US-led war games in the region targeting the North.

“We will continue to call on North Korea to return to dialogue and diplomacy," Trudeau further claimed.

He went on to insist that stability in the Indo Pacific and the North Pacific is essential to global security, but only called on North Korea to abandon its weapons programs and reopen denuclearization talks, while not addressing massive US-South Korea military campaigns in the region that Pyongyang regard as rehearsals to invade its territories.

North Korea has come under harsh US-led sanctions for years over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but the measures have not prevented it from expanding its nuclear and missile capabilities as a deterrent against hostile efforts by a Western alliance.

Seoul, which has faced formidable measures by North Korea, including the test firing of various missiles and other weapons systems, to guard against surging war games in the region by the US, South Korea, Japan and others, is now trying to further expand its military alliance and cooperation with Washington and its allies.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Trudeau said Canada is ready to strengthen its partnership with South Korea “on everything from critical minerals to high-tech innovation to clean energy solutions.”

He said the issues will be discussed during a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol set for later in the day.

According to a South Korean government official, the two presidents are expected to sign an agreement on key mineral supply chains, clean energy conversion and energy security cooperation.

Trudeau arrived in Seoul on Tuesday in the first visit in nine years by a Canadian leader as the two countries seek to deepen cooperation in supply chains, especially for critical minerals used in electric vehicle batteries.

Ottawa and Seoul further plan to explore ways to expand military ties, including intelligence sharing.

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