Even before an international summit on the North Korean nuclear crisis begins, foreign ministers who’ll be in attendance admit a diplomatic solution is impossible without two countries that won’t be there. China and Russian won’t be represented at the summit in Vancouver, and both countries have criticized the summit as too focused on sanctions and not enough on dialogue. A senior Canadian official who provided a background briefing to reporters says the meeting is about enforcing sanctions rather than seeking a long-term solution, which the official acknowledge would need to include Russia and China.

Observers have suggested the summit risks angering China, particularly if the United States pushes for “provocative” measures to disrupt shipments to North Korea. American officials had previously said Russian and China supported the summit, but China has since written off the event as “meaningless” and Russia’s foreign minister says any suggestion his country supports the summit is an “outright lie.” In fact, Russian and Chinese officials turned down an offer to be briefed by Canada on what happens at the talks.

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