September 27, 2023

The Ukraine war has drawn North Korea back into Moscow’s political orbit

Pyongyang has offered vocal and material support for Russia’s invasion and stands to gain as conflict enters second year

One year ago this week, Russia upended not only Europe but global geopolitics when it launched its illegal invasion of Ukraine. And since the beginning, the international community has had its sights on how the war would impact North Korea’s long-term relationship with the Kremlin.

There appeared to be several possibilities for how things could unfold. Pyongyang could criticize the flagrant violation of Ukraine’s territory and move closer to Beijing. Or it might begrudgingly support their comrades in Moscow out of a sense of old-fashioned solidarity, while doing little else amid COVID lockdowns. Or it might fervently support the Kremlin’s “special military operation.”