March 02, 2024

With China and North Korea drifting apart, will Russia step in?

Despite shared interests, Moscow would be wise to keep Pyongyang at arm's length

Much has been made of Kim Jong Un's decision to send Lunar New Year greeting cards to Russia first, followed by China, as a sign of a re-prioritization in North Korea's hierarchy of international partners. 

Indeed, there is no doubt that North Korea and Russia have been making strides in augmenting their bilateral relationship, while the DPRK's ties to China have simultaneously suffered a decline. The news over the weekend that the PRC will suspend all coal imports from North Korea, allegedly in response to the DPRK's missile test earlier in the month, means Pyongyang may be looking for a sympathetic friend. 

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