Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging the United Nations Security Council to “constrain” North Korea’s nuclear threat.
The council is meeting Monday to discuss the issue. Canada is seeking a seat on the council after the previous Conservative government routinely criticized the body as ineffective and dominated by authoritarian governments.
Trudeau condemned North Korea’s latest missile testing on Sunday but said the UN must step in to contain the rogue state’s “aggressive” military posturing.
North Korea declared over the weekend that it had successfully detonated its sixth nuclear weapon — reportedly a hydrogen bomb — in a test.
In a statement, Trudeau said North Korea “represents a clear and present threat to the safety and security of its neighbors and the international community.”
He called on the security council “to take further decisive action to effectively constrain North Korea’s proliferation efforts,” noting that the hard-line communist state is only driving itself into further isolation by its stubborn insistence on developing its nuclear weapons program.
Although Trudeau said that Canada supports the work of its allies in the region, including the U.S., South Korea, Japan, the prime minister offered so specifics on how that might be done.
There is increasing pressure on Trudeau to join the U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) program — including from members of his own caucus. Two previous Canadian prime ministers have balked at membership, and the plan is routinely confused with the Strategic Defense Initiative of the Ronald Reagan presidency.
But Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole, a former Air Force officer, says it is time for Canada to reappraise BMD, given the growing North Korean threat and the fact that any missile it fires will have to travel across Canadian airspace. O’Toole told The Daily Caller Monday that the issue is front and center for Canada’s official opposition: “Our caucus will be talking about the threat environment given the recent tests and rhetoric from North Korea. This will include talking about how we can work with the U.S. to ensure NORAD meets the modern threat environment,” he said.
The House of Commons standing committee on defense will be meeting in the next week to discuss the possibility of a policy change.
The UN Security Council is meeting for the second time Monday to deal with the North Korea crisis. The group agreed to another emergency session after learning of the underground testing of what North Korea says was a hydrogen bomb. The council has also called Kim Jong-un’s firing of a ballistic missile over Japan an “outrageous” act “deliberately undermining regional peace and stability.”