May 28, 2023

It’s time to get real: Putin cannot convince N. Korea to give up nukes

The notion that Russia can persuade Pyongyang to stop its nuclear program is a misreading of reality

A recent article in the East Asia Forum offers the belief that Russia, for a variety of reasons, is well-positioned to solve the North Korean nuclear problem. In making that case, the authors point out that Russia and North Korea share a border – not quite 11 miles (roughly 17 kilometers), and that the two have both commercial air and rail links across the border. They also mention that Russia has abundant energy to sell, but that trade between the two nations is not great, perhaps $100 million per year.

Another piece in the Joongang Daily states that North Korean ties with Russia are stronger than those with China. In support of this, the essay points out that Moscow forgave nine-tenths of the nearly $11 billion in debt that Pyongyang owed the former USSR.