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United front

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By John Burton

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un began his diplomatic breakout a year ago when he met Chinese President Xi Jinping in March 2018 and then followed up with Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump. He has now concluded this initial outreach campaign by meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in Vladivostok.

In the process, Kim has acquired two valuable allies in China and Russia who are likely to help push back against U.S. pressure on North Korea. Both Beijing and Moscow share similar attitudes on the nuclear issue and are likely to cooperate closely in the future.

Although China and Russia, two of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, have publicly stated that they favor a non-nuclear status for the Korean Peninsula, both realize that this is probably not a realistic goal because Pyongyang will be unwilling to give up its nuclear weapons since they are the only guarantee of Kim's survival.

Moreover, they view U.S pressure on North Korea as an example of what they believe is Washington's policy of deposing regimes it does not like. China and Russia have embraced the principle of non-interference in resisting Western intervention in countries ranging from Syria to Libya.

But this does not mean that China and Russia are........

© The Korea Times