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U.S.-Russia Relations Strained Over North Korea Situation

U.S. President Donald Trump has said that Russia is hindering U.S. efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons, while China has been helpful.

In an interview with Fox Business Network on October 25, Trump said it would be easier to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue if the United States had a better relationship with Russia.

"China is helping us and maybe Russia's going through the other way and hurting what we're getting," Trump said, speaking about the administration's efforts to persuade countries to exert pressure on North Korea through strict economic sanctions.

A series of weapons tests by North Korea and an exchange of threats between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have ratcheted up tensions this year.

Trump has pressed both Russia and China to help rein in their neighbor's nuclear program.

While Russia has maintained relations with Pyongyang, China is North Korea's biggest trading partner and ally, accounting for more than 90 percent of trade with the isolated country.

U.S.-Russia relations have been strained over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014, its backing of the Syrian government, and allegations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump's remarks on Fox harked back to his pledge during last year's campaign to improve relations with Moscow.

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"I think we could have a good relationship" with Russia, Trump said. "I think that North Korean situation would be easier settled."

By RFE/RL

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