Experts Say

China, Russia indispensable in NK nuke issue

March 18, 2018
By Dmitri Trenin

With Donald Trump's acceptance of Kim Jong-un's offer of a summit meeting in May, all eyes are on Washington and Pyongyang. The two leaders' meeting if it takes place can be an inflection point in the Korean nuclear saga, the choice being between charting a path to some kind of a negotiated arrangement - or sliding back to high tension, even war. However, the US and North Korea are not the only actors in this drama. Only recently, Americans expected China to deliver North Korea to them and urged Russia to support harsher sanctions against North Korea at the UN Security Council, while US allies South Korea and Japan sided with Washington to take a hard line toward Pyongyang. Much of this has now changed, but the wider international context still matters ahead of the proposed Trump-Kim summit, and will matter even more after it is over.
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