May 29, 2024

The two Koreas, coming to terms with Russian assistance

Recent events, pacts show progress in Russia's long-desired goal of interdependence

Summer 2014 witnessed new examples of deepening Russian involvement into North Korea and her increased efforts to help improve North-South relations. Obviously the “Russian card” is approved at the highest level in Pyongyang – in an apparent attempt to show to China that Pyongyang has alternative supporters. The change in attitude was demonstrated by the fact that Russian companies during the recent Russia-DPRK intergovernmental commission in June in Vladivostok were promised a better investment climate that anybody else (multiple visas, local phones, access to local legislation, Internet and other means of communication, etc).

What is principally important is that Russia does not separate its relations with the North and South; on the contrary, it wants to promote projects with both countries’ participation. The coinciding sudden improvement in relations with Japan is also related to the DPRK’s attempt to diversify its foreign policy away from total dependence on the two key actors – the U.S. and China – but it has yet to bear fruit.

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