World

As US and China find common ground on NKorea, is Russia the wild card?

By James Pearson and Alexei Chernyshev

 

Seoul/ Vladivostok: When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency. Some academics who study North Korea argue Kim could be looking for Russia to ease any pain if China, which accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade, steps up sanctions against the isolated country as part of moves to deter its nuclear and missile programmes.

Bad times

It really cannot get more bizarre. The day US President Donald Trump ordered his bombers to drop the “mother of all bombs” (MOAB) on the impoverished district of Nangarhar in Afghanistan to smoke out the Islamic State (IS), there was perceptible glee amongst many of those who have no qualms in recommending firing of machine guns at Kashmiri stone pelters.