ASP’s fellow for public diplomacy, Matthew Wallin was quoted in Mythili Sampathkumar’s Independent article, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin ‘agree to work together on North Korea.’ The article discusses the recent phone call President Trump had with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which they agreed to work together to make diplomatic progress on the threat posed by North Korea. Wallin explains that, “Russia’s influence will be helpful [on North Korea], but not nearly as much as China’s cooperation.”
He says that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un needs to see that having functioning nuclear weapons is a bigger threat to the country’s existence “than the threat of an American or South Korean invasion without them.” Wallin continued by saying, “Like China, Russia sees North Korea as a useful check on American power in the region.” When asked if China or Russia would be willing to put pressure on North Korea, Wallin maintained that it is “unclear.”
The White House reported that the phone call included an agreement that all parties must do anything possible to end the violence in Syria. However, Wallin expressed doubt that this call will yield any significant action on ending the suffering. He continued by explaining that, “The creation of safe zones without a plan to resolve the core issues of the conflict also risks perpetuating those safe zones.” It would create “permanent refugee camps with no sustainable economy, and likely full of hunger, suffering, and recruiting opportunities for terrorists,” he said in closing.
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