PoliticsForeign Policy


Putin Doesn't See Eye-To-Eye With Trump On North Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's concerned about North Korea's missile launches but won't accept any nation "intimidating" the country.
Posted at 8:01 PM, May 15, 2017

When it comes to North Korea's rapidly accelerating nuclear missile program, the U.S. would like other countries to step up to the plate more.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters, "We are calling on all of those folks in the region, particularly China and Russia, to do everything they can in terms of sanctions to help resolve the situation and bring stability to the peninsula."

After North Korea's latest missile test, the White House released a statement highlighting how close the missile came to Russian soil — and noting "the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased."

Russian President Vladimir Putin was, in fact, not pleased — he called the country's nuclear program "damaging [and] dangerous." But he also warned other countries that "intimidating [North Korea] is unacceptable."

That could be a thinly veiled shot at the U.S.-led sanctions regime against North Korea. Russia has been strengthening its economic ties with North Korea recently and isn't likely to give up that relationship lightly.

As for China, it's taken a tougher stance on North Korea lately but is currently more focused on its massive Belt And Road investment in international trading infrastructure. An envoy from North Korea attended a recent Belt and Road forum — almost literally rubbing shoulders with a U.S. trade representative.