Despite their many differences over regional security and other issues, China, Russia, and the United States continue to collaborate to counter the nuclear and missile programs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), though Moscow and Beijing still evince a reluctance to apply the strong pressure on Pyongyang sought by Washington.
Both China and Russia have sought to use their influence in Pyongyang to discourage North Korea from conducting more nuclear tests, launching more missiles, or conducting other provocations that worsen regional security dynamics.
Americans see North Korea, unlike China and Russia, as an immediate military threat whose growing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities could present an existential threat to the United States. In their dialogue with the Russians and Chinese, U.S. policy makers make clear that how China and Russia deal with North Korea will have a major impact on their countries’ relations with the United States.
Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping conducted his first state visit to South Korea. During this summit, the two governments issued a joint declaration that restated their opposition to nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and called for resuming the Six-Party Talks. President Xi broke with precedent and became the first Chinese head-of-state to visit South Korea before travelling to the DPRK, which he has shown no interest in doing.
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