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Trump Says Russia 'Not Helping' On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House on December 15.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House on December 15.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he is not satisfied with Russia’s cooperation in efforts to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump on December 15 said that "China is helping; Russia is not helping."

"We would like to have Russia's help -- very important," he added.

The comments came hours after Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone. U.S. and Russian officials said the two leaders discussed North Korea during the call, which the Kremlin said Trump initiated.

Outside the White House, Trump repeated comments made earlier in the day that Putin had complimented him on his efforts regarding the U.S. economy but also had said “some negative things in terms of what is going on elsewhere."

"But the primary point was to talk about North Korea, because we would love to have his help on North Korea," Trump added.

Immediately following Trump's comments, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also criticized Moscow during a UN Security Council meeting.

"Continuing to allow North Korean laborers to toil in slavelike conditions inside Russia in exchange for wages used to fund nuclear weapons programs calls into question Russia's dedication as a partner for peace," he said.

He also "questioned China's commitment to solving" the crisis, citing the "continued flows" of crude oil to North Korean refineries.

"We ask every nation here to join a unified effort to achieve a complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Tillerson said.

Tensions have increased on the Korean Peninsula amid Pyongyang’s continued testing of nuclear and ballistic missiles in violation of United Nations resolutions.

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