On September 30th, the Canadian International Council’s (CIC) National Capital Branch hosted a virtual Zoom Q&A session with former Canadian diplomat James Trottier. Mr. Trottier, a lawyer and foreign service officer with Global Affairs Canada for 34 years, served from 2013-2016 as Political/Economic Counsellor and Head of Political, Economic and Public Affairs in the Republic of Korea’s Canadian embassy. This role included a cross-accreditation for North Korea, where he led the first Canadian diplomatic missions to the state since 2010.
Mr. Trottier spoke at the event as a follow-up to his recent article for the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) entitled “The Biden Administration’s North Korea Policy: A New Direction or Back to the Future?”
The audience was composed of members of the CIC’s Security and Intelligence Study Group and moderated by CIC Councillor Valerie Spencer-Keyes, who spent the second half of the event fielding questions for Mr. Trottier based on his presentation. The resulting conversation is a lively and well-informed breakdown of several pressing issues related to North Korea’s nuclear threat on the regional and global stage and how international actors, primarily the United States and Canada can effectively craft and implement their policy responses.
Mr. Trottier brings his professional experience and up-to-date knowledge of international politics, security issues, North Korean domestic concerns and law to discuss a wide-range of subjects with the Study Group in the Q&A; a short list of the topics raised includes the role of Japan and South Korea in negotiations, the domestic debate within North Korea on their nuclear program, and an in-depth timeline of both American and Canadian policies on North Korea and how they can be improved.
– Mischa Longman, iAffairs Canada