As U.S. and China find common ground on North Korea, is Russia the wild card?

As U.S. and China find common ground on North Korea, is Russia the wild card?By James Pearson and Alexei Chernyshev SEOUL/VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency. Some academics who study North Korea argue Kim could be looking for Russia to ease any pain if China, which accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, steps up sanctions against the isolated country as part of moves to deter its nuclear and missile programs. U.S. President Donald Trump lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping last week for Beijing’s assistance in trying to rein in Pyongyang.



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