WASHINGTON—American officials say the North Korea nuclear crisis will be one of several topics of conversation when Rex Tillerson makes his first visit to Canada as secretary of state on Tuesday.
Tillerson is to meet his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland, as well as ministers from the Trudeau government’s cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations.
An American official says the meeting is part of the ongoing and very active relationship between the two countries.
The senior State Department official says a range of continental and international issues will come up, including plans to host international talks in Canada early next year on the Korean crisis.
The summit will involve countries that participated in the Korean War and other key regional actors.
The official says the Tillerson meetings will cover other topics as well, including border efficiency and security, probably the NAFTA negotiations and other international issues like the Ukraine-Russia situation and the political crisis in Venezuela.
“North Korea will certainly come up. We’ve got a good partnership with Canada on the issue,” said the State Department official, speaking on background. “It will be a major topic of conversation.”
Tillerson knows Canada from past visits as an oil executive — this is his first visit since joining the Trump administration this year.
There are persistent rumours in Washington that his time in office is already almost up, fed by anonymous sources telling news reporters about tension with the White House and within his own department.
Tillerson was asked Monday about the latest rumour — that he’s already planning his resignation and has handed in a resignation letter signed for next year. The question came up as he spoke to reporters alongside his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Derian.
Tillerson responded dismissively: “That’s ridiculous. That’s a ridiculous question.”