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North Korea threat shows Russia's role behind missile program

Moscow and Beijing will gain ground if US military allows itself to be distracted

North Korea's missile program appears to have received a big boost from Russia. (Reuters)

TOKYO -- North Korea's missile launches in early May indicate that leader Kim Jong Un is growing increasingly frustrated now that talks with the U.S. have stalled. They also show Russia lurking behind North Korea's missile buildup.

North Korea fired what appeared to be Iskander short-range ballistic missiles on May 4 and May 9. The Iskander is a Russian-designed solid-fuel missile that can be launched in a hurry.

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