Trump Says Russia 'Not Helping' On North Korea; Russia Fires Back

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN  AFP  Getty Images

STEPHANE DESAKUTIN AFP Getty Images

President Donald Trump spoke with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, amid the intensifying investigation into whether the Kremlin meddled in last year's USA election to help Trump win.

President Trump's got a pal in Putin. Trump last month lashed out at those agencies' former heads, calling them "political hacks" and arguing there were plenty of reasons to be suspicious of their findings.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis disputed that claim on December 15, however, saying that North Korea "has not yet shown to be a capable threat against us" despite the technological advances demonstrated by its recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

"This is how relations should be between people like us", Mr Putin said to reporters at the marathon annual event.

The two men had also talked about improving dialogue between Russian Federation and the United States, Peskov said.

"The primary point was to talk about North Korea, because we would love to have his help on North Korea".

UN studies have said most of Pyongyang's workers toil in China and Russian Federation under a system that forces them to send most of their earnings back to the government in North Korea, which the United States maintains uses the cash to help fund the country's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. "Look at the markets, how they've risen", Putin said, according to Bloomberg. The U.S. has accused Russian Federation of pact violations - charges that Russian Federation has denied. "This is evidence of investors' trust in the US economy", Putin said.

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He emphasized that Russian Federation will "ensure its security without entering an arms race".

He said he would like to see more political competition, which would help make the nation's political system more balanced.

Asked about accusations of state-supported doping that led to Russian Federation being banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Putin alleged that there is a political element behind the claims, which Russian Federation has denied.

Putin said he would run as a self-nominated candidate, keeping a distance from the main Kremlin-controlled party, United Russia, whose many members have been dogged by corruption accusations. He accused USA agencies of manipulating evidence from the main whistleblower on doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

He suggested USA agencies may be giving Rodchenkov unspecified "substances so that he says what's required".

Rodchenkov's testimony played a key role in International Olympic Committee investigations that led last week to Russian athletes being required to compete under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

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