President Donald Trump has praised China’s efforts in helping the U.S. contain the nuclear threat from North Korea, but criticized Russia’s stance on the growing tensions with Pyongyang.
The president said that Moscow’s influence in dealing with North Korea has not been beneficial to the U.S. efforts to contain the country’s nuclear threat.
“China is helping us and maybe Russia’s going through the other way and hurting what we’re getting,” Trump said. “When I say ‘maybe,’ I know exactly what I’m talking about,” he added, cryptically.
The praise for Chinese efforts signal a shift in tone for the president, who has at times scoffed at China for not doing enough on North Korea, or trying to help but with “little success”—just on time for his meeting with President Xi Jinping as part of a trip to Asia next month.
China is North Korea’s closest ally in the region but Russia has also stepped up its level of engagement in the peninsula, seeking to position itself as a mediator and win infrastructure projects along the way.