North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Dalian, China, on May 8. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP)

Eugene Robinson’s May 11 op-ed, “Lord save U.S. foreign policy,” brought up many points that would be pertinent if his understanding reflected the true relationship between North Korea and China. He described President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as inwardly driven leaders with clear agendas to change history. Unfortunately, the hidden (or merely ignored) truth is that for 70 years, North Korea has been a puppet state of Communist China. It was so in the days of Mao Zedong and is still. Any moves made by North Korea, either hostile or friendly, are choreographed by China to improve its bargaining leverage with the United States.

We have had a trade deficit with China of grotesque proportions in all the years that North Korea has been bellicose. But no sooner does Mr. Trump declare tariffs on imports from China than North Korea suddenly decides to play nice. And because China has a vested interest in keeping Mr. Trump in office, it is raising his favorability ratings by setting up this meeting between him and Mr. Kim, leading to cries that Mr. Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. And, lo, we’ve heard nothing about tariffs since. It’s not only Russia that wants to keep Mr. Trump in office. Mr. Trump is a pawn, just as is Mr. Kim. Both are beholden to the Communists.

Alexander Yaron, Washington