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article imageTrump says Russia undermining N.Korea sanctions

By AFP     Jan 17, 2018 in World

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Russia of undermining international sanctions against North Korea and weakening efforts to curb Kim Jong-Un's nuclear weapons program.

"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea," Trump told the Reuters news agency.

"What China is helping us with, Russia is denting."

Last month, Trump had already denounced Russia for "not helping" global efforts to pressure Pyongyang to halt the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems that have increased tensions with Washington.

Trump has blamed the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election for hampering an improvement in US-Russian relations -- thereby limiting his influence over President Vladimir Putin.

"He can do a lot," Trump said of Putin. "But unfortunately we don't have much of a relationship with Russia, and in some cases it's probable that what China takes back, Russia gives. So the net result is not as good as it could be."

Separately, Trump denounced China's alleged theft of US intellectual property -- an issue under investigation since mid-August.

"We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon," Trump told Reuters, without clarifying further.

Meanwhile, the US leader refused to say if he had directly communicated in any way with Kim Jong-Un, with whom he has traded public barbs and insults in recent months.

"I'd sit down, but I'm not sure that sitting down will solve the problem," he said.

"I'm not sure that talks will lead to anything meaningful. They've talked for 25 years and they've taken advantage of our presidents, of our previous presidents."

Trump said he believed the North Korean regime was getting closer to being able to strike the United States with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

"They're not there yet, but they're close. And they get closer every day," he said.

Trump recently praised the resumption of talks between North and South Korea, and signaled his "openness" to US talks with North Korea "under the right circumstances."

The two Koreas agreed Wednesday to march together under a single flag at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February in a sign of easing tensions on the peninsula.

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