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Isolated North Korea struggles to throw off Chinese yoke

Pyongyang eager to conduct nuclear test but risks offending Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping stroll in the premises of the Kumsusan guest house in Pyongyang in June 2019. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP).

TOKYO -- The results of the U.S. midterm elections on Nov. 8 have significant ramifications for North Korea's nuclear arms and missiles programs. They will affect, in one way or another, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's effort to fulfill his weapons ambitions.

"Pyongyang is in a somber mood," said a North Korean source well-informed about the three generations of the Kim dynasty. "Pyongyang had a faint hope that if [former U.S. President Donald] Trump becomes president again, he would help create a situation similar to that of 2018 [when the first U.S.-North Korea summit took place], but it has now steeled itself for the possibility that no matter who becomes the next U.S. president, Democrat or Republican, the U.S. establishment will not tolerate the North's current regime or its nuclear armament," the source said.

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