The North Korean government in her desire to restore diplomatic relations on the international scene has decided to meet President Vladimir Putin. The question is whether Russia can succeed where the United States failed, or at least proposed a basis for cooperation and exit from the crisis. Donald Trump has already greeted Russia and China on the North Korean file.
Vladimir Putin’s first meeting with Kim Jong-un. This is a major event, not only for Russia and the DPRK, but for the world as a whole. The meeting was held on April 25-26 on Russky Island in Vladivostok. The first conversation between the leaders was held face to face in the presence of two translators and lasted twice longer than planned.
Putin and Kim Jong-un discussed the state and prospects of interstate relations, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the problem of nuclear disarmament and international security guarantees for the DPRK.
According to the President of the Russian Federation, the main condition for resolving the situation on the Korean Peninsula is the restoration of trust. It requires mutual consideration of each other’s interests and the priority of international, rather than “fist” law. The six-party negotiating format (DPRK, South Korea, Russian Federation, Japan, USA and China) on the DPRK nuclear program may be needed when it comes to the development of international guarantees for Pyongyang.
According to many analysts, the meeting in Vladivostok was the result of the fact that the second US-North Korean summit in February ended in failure. The United States rejected a phased easing of sanctions, as Pyongyang insisted. Under these conditions, attention is drawn to the fact that in Vladivostok, Putin reiterated the prospect of resuming the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear program. The leaders of Russia and North Korea have confirmed that they are ready to take concerted action in this direction. This creates problems for the United States and expands Russia’s diplomatic capabilities.
Moscow’s entry into negotiations with the DPRK is a clear concern for Washington. Putin openly supports an approach in which Pyongyang’s steps should be accompanied by reciprocal steps and encouragement from the United States. Kim Jong-un, in turn, insists on the early easing of sanctions, which cause significant blows to the DPRK economy. Previously, the North Korean leader kept his distance from Russia, focusing on direct dialogue with Trump. However, everything changed after the unsuccessful summit in Hanoi in February; now Putin has become an important card for Pyongyang in his attempts to put pressure on Washington.
COMMON INTERESTS OF MOSCOW AND PYONGYANG
Of course, Russia does not want to create the impression that she is going to “repel” North Korea from Trump, particularly, by reviving the “Six-Party Talks” on nuclear disarmament.
However, it is obvious that the revival of this format, the internationalization of the North Korean nuclear problem in today’s conditions is a big plus for both Pyongyang and Moscow, thus increasing their weight in East Asian affairs.
Another reason for the common interest for Moscow and Pyongyang is that both countries suffer from a tough US foreign policy. Under US pressure, many Western countries also impose sanctions on Russia. Both Russia and North Korea and many other countries in the East Asian region oppose the hegemony of the United States and her allies.
It would be in the interests of Russia to ease economic sanctions against North Korea. In 2018, the volume of trade between the Russian Federation and North Korea decreased almost by half as compared to the previous year; up to $ 34 million. Moscow notes that this was a result of international sanctions against Pyongyang. Moscow has also long advanced the concept of laying a gas pipeline to South Korea through the territory of the DPRK in the event of the lifting of sanctions and stabilization of the situation on the peninsula. This would help improve the economic situation in the Russian Far East.
Article from AFRIC Editorial
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