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North Korea's shift closer to China and Russia comes at hefty cost

Using war in Ukraine for diplomacy could be double-edged sword

From left to right, Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Closer ties with both Beijing and Moscow in the wake of the Ukraine war mean Kim faces a delicate balancing act. (Source photos by Kyodo, KCNA/Kyodo, Kremlin/Reuters and Xinhua/AP)

TOKYO -- The war in Ukraine has brought North Korea and China closer together than ever before, but will it last?

"Historically, North Korea's relations with China have soon run into trouble under circumstances like the ones we see at the moment," said a North Korean source knowledgeable on the three generations of dictatorship in the hermit nation, predicting the present "honeymoon" between the two countries could fade.

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