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In John Kirby's Bizarre World, Russia Is "Isolated" and Washington Is King

At yesterday’s White House briefing with National Security Council strategic communications director John Kirby, the matter of Vladimir Putin’s June 18-19 visit to Pyongyang, and the strategic alliance he signed with Kim Yong un were obviously a major topic of discussion. Initially, Kirby rather breezily remarked that there were “no surprises here” since the White House has frequently discussed how North Korea is enabling Russia’s war in Ukraine, and everyone knows that.

Although the agreement is “a cause for concern,” Kirby assured everyone, the situation is under control because the Biden administration has spent the last three-and-a-half years bolstering allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, through such mechanisms as the trilateral U.S.-Japan-South Korea alliance, the AUKUS initiative, expanded cooperation with the Philippines, and more. So, everything the administration has done in this region “will put us in the best possible position to be able to thwart any threats and challenges, not just on the Korean Peninsula but elsewhere in the region.” Taking a dig at China, Kirby sputtered that what Putin just signed in Pyongyang “seems to be in direct contrast” to statements that Xi and Putin made in Beijing just a month ago, talking about a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the Korean peninsula. Is China concerned?

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