Russia's influence over North Korea has several dimensions - including the engineering know-how the country desperately needs to modernize. But there's also economic influence, especially as curious Russians queue up to visit the secretive country.
It says a lot about this White House that Donald Trump penned a letter to Kim Jong Un in order to call off the historic North Korea summit. In addition to being unusual, it also complicates the standoff with Pyonygang.
North Korea has said it will dismantle its nuclear test site within two weeks. The announcement came less than 24 hours after the US promised Pyongyang a future "brimming with prosperity," if it denuclearizes.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has landed in Pyongyang to meet with North Korean officials ahead of a planned meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. There is also hope for the release of detainees.
The White House has described their release as a "positive gesture of good will." Analysts believe North Korea is trying to shore up support for sanctions relief as it shifts from its "weapons phase" to development.
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