Trump cryptic about contacts with North Korea's Kim

The tough sanctions designed to cripple trade between North Korea and its main trading partner came after Pyongyang carried out a series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests last year

Meanwhile, top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States held a meeting in Washington for two days from Wednesday to share the outcome and the inter-Korean talks, according to the foreign ministry.

In November, China stopped exporting oil products to North Korea, after the U.N. Security Council that month imposed new caps on trade with North Korea, including limiting oil product shipments.

As such, North Korea's neighbors China and Russian Federation are not invited, and many have questioned the utility of a conference where such influential regional players are absent.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sidestepped questions Friday about the lack of an invitation to China for the Vancouver meeting, which some have suggested will limit whatever progress can be achieved.

The so-called Vancouver Group is formed by the countries that fought in the 1950-53 Korean War. She said the US helped bring the results of the inter-Korean talks by firmly maintaining its principles for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The official said Canada never got to the "juncture" of inviting China to the actual summit because there was an awareness that Chinese views on the way to move forward are different than those in North America. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang has said the event will not be helpful in reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula because key regional powers won't be there.

The Chinese customs agency said Friday that imports from the North shrank 81.6 per cent to $54 million while exports to the isolated, impoverished country contracted 23.4 per cent to $260 million.

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He also said the meeting does not involve all the key countries related to the North Korean nuclear issue.

The ministers will discuss steps to thwart North Korea's evasion of sanctions, including through maritime interdiction, State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook said in a press briefing.

"China is working with us", he said.

North Korea's first talks with South Korea in more than two years turned tense Tuesday, after representatives of President Moon Jae-in proposed discussions with Kim about giving up his nuclear weapons program. "This is not an alternative to everything that we are doing", Hook said.

The meeting comes after a flurry of diplomacy between North and South Korean and fresh openness from President to the prospect of talks with Pyongyang, although USA officials emphasized Thursday that 's provocations can not be tolerated by the global community.

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