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Trump lost leverage on China and North Korea: former Obama aide

Late US efforts to convene Tokyo and Seoul contributed to nations' rift

TOKYO -- U.S. President Donald Trump, his hands full with a reelection campaign and an impeachment inquiry brewing in Congress, has lost leverage in trade talks with China and in nuclear negotiations with North Korea, according to a former senior U.S. diplomat.

"We see 'Trump first' and 'America first' over alliances, as we saw in Ukraine," said Daniel Russel, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under President Barack Obama. "That's disturbing and demoralizing, not only to the men and women of the U.S. government, but also to America's partners."

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