A ROK Drop favorite Andrei Lankov explains why Russia is going to attempt to water down United Nations sanctions on North Korea or veto them all together and it has nothing to do with Putin taking an anti-US position:
Vladimir Putin was right when he recently said that even if North Koreans have to eat grass, they will not surrender nuclear weapons (of course, in North Korea the people who make decisions on nuclear weapons are far removed from the people who would have no choice but to eat grass).
However, there is the probability that a really harsh sanctions regime will eventually provoke a grave political crisis and revolution in North Korea: instead of eating grass, the people will rebel.
For American observers, who will watch enthusiastic TV reports about a North Korean revolution in safety, this development, as long as it does not trigger a region-wide war, will be welcome. After all, regime collapse will bring about the complete solution of the North Korean nuclear issue, the U.S.’s overwhelming concern.
However, Russia and China, inconveniently located on the border with North Korea, have reasons to be unenthusiastic about prospects of a Syria-like or Libya-like situation, anarchy and civil war in a nuclear-armed country nearby. For Moscow – and, for that matter, for Beijing – a collapsing North Korea is a greater threat than a nuclear one, however bad a nuclear North Korea is. [NK News]
You can read the rest of the analysis at the link.
I am sure the irony is lost on few that President Putin is advocating against militarism and provocations and instead for everyone to get together and talk considering how own actions in Ukraine and Georgia in recent years:
“Russia believes that the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile,” Putin said in an article released Thursday by the Kremlin, ahead of the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China.
“The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. Provocations, pressure and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road,” Putin said.
His comments were published hours after the US and South Korea conducted a mock bombing raid on the Korean Peninsula
that was denounced by Pyongyang as a “rash act.”
Russia was a participant in the six-party talks, which took place in the mid-2000s in an attempt to get North Korea to abandon its then burgeoning nuclear program. [CNN
You can read the rest at the link.
I think someone is definitely helping the North Koreans with their missile technology, but blaming Ukraine sounds like a Russian information operation:
Ukraine’s top diplomat in Seoul on Thursday denied allegations that North Korea might have obtained rocket engines used in its recently tested long-range missiles from Ukraine.
Charge d’Affaires Taras Fedunkiv, the acting Ukrainian ambassador to Seoul, still suspected that North Korea could not have been able to advance its missile technology “without outside help,” calling for an international probe to find “who was responsible.”
“The production lines for building these types of rockets in Ukraine were decommissioned in 1992. The expertise cannot be carried in the heads of rogue scientists. The instructions are included in complex manuals locked in top-security facilities guarded by our security forces,” he said in a written interview with Yonhap News Agency, citing Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin’s recent op-ed in The New York Times.
“Not only would it be virtually impossible for criminals to access these manuals, but also any effort could not go unnoticed by our government,” he added.
Citing a study by Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the New York Times reported on Aug. 14 that North Korea could have got its hands on technology needed for the success of the recent missile launches through black market purchases of rocket engines from Ukraine. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link, but I would not be surprised if it was the Russians helping the North Koreans master their long range rocket technology.
I can’t understand why anyone is surprised by the synchronization of China and Russia’s North Korea strategy? China and Russia have long had the common goal of weakening the United States’ commitment to alliances in Northeast Asia:
The proposal, and the strategic alignment between the two one-time rivals, raised some eyebrows amongst regional watchers. Russia has often backed China in U.N. Security Council negotiations, but during the Obama administration it was far less engaged on North Korea than China was. Xi’s government, meanwhile, had appeared prepared to begin taking a more assertive stance on the reclusive nation.
The recalibration serves a common goal that regional experts say is central to both Russian and Chinese foreign policy — loosening American alliances around the globe.
Former diplomats are split over the significance of the sudden chumminess. Robert Gallucci, the chief U.S. negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis of 1994, called it “unsettling” but “not catastrophic in any way.” He characterized the surprise sync as two nations seizing an opportunity to undercut the U.S.-Japan-South Korea alliance — not a herald of a new era of coordinated policy against the United States.
But some regional policy experts fear that a united Sino-Russian front on North Korea could make it more difficult for the U.S. to rein in Pyongyang’s burgeoning nuclear program.
“The fact that Moscow and Beijing are using virtually identical language and are very united at this time I think will provide great comfort to Kim Jong Un,” said David Pressman, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for political affairs who now works at the Boies Schiller Flexner law firm. [The Hill]
You can read more at the link, but as I had previously mentioned this whole approach plays into the slow motion surrender of South Korea to North Korean hegemony and the end of the US-ROK alliance. Is it any wonder why China and Russia continue to enable the Kim regime?
It looks like the propaganda goons over in Russia are busy spreading disinformation for Korean leftists to point to in order to claim THAAD is an offensive weapon system:
A top Russian defense official on Sunday accused South Korea and the U.S. of escalating tensions in Northeast Asia by deploying the powerful Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on the Korean Peninsula.
Deputy Defense Minster Lt. Gen. Alexander Fomin claimed the missile system can be used for launching “long-distance attack missiles,” and should not be viewed exclusively as a defensive system.
“That’s why we are alarmed. It’s a direct threat to Russia,” he said, speaking at a plenary session of the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
He pointed out the deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea has already begun.
“We are convinced that (the) ongoing (move) in the region under the auspices of the United States to deploy elements of a global missile defense (system) will not only not solve the existing problems on the Korean Peninsula, but, on the contrary, will only exacerbate them,” he said in English.
He added THAAD in Korea would also trigger a regional arms race and provoke the North to attack its enemies. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link, but to claim THAAD is an offensive system would be the same as claiming the Patriot missile defense batteries spread throughout South Korea are offensive systems well. They are of course not offensive systems, they just for missile defense. Why would the US military need these as offensive systems when there is already plenty of offensive strike capability in and around the peninsula? The Russians know THAAD is not an offensive system, but they want leftists in South Korea to believe it is in order to stoke civil discontent against the deployment of the system.
Russia does not see the US-ROK alliance as being in their interest and are using the THAAD issue to drive a wedge in the alliance especially with the left wing President Moon Jae-in now in power.
Like I said before I did not think Putin would care much about the North Korean missile test:
Speaking in China, Putin called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.
“I would like to confirm that we are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear states, including through the Korean Peninsula,” Putin told reporters. “We are against it and consider it counterproductive, damaging, dangerous,” he said.
But in comments that appeared aimed at the US, he said that “intimidating (North Korea) is unacceptable.” [CNN
You can read more at the link, but Russia could see the North Korea issue as a potential bargaining chip with the US and thus the current mixed signals being sent after this latest missile test.
It looks like the Kim regime is once again playing the Russians against the Chinese like they did during the Cold War:
Moscow may be looking to take advantage of the nuclear standoff between Pyongyang and the international community . As cracks deepen in the decades-old friendship between China and North Korea amid increasing U.S. pressure, Russian President Vladimir Putin stands ready to fill Beijing’s shoes.
“ Russia (has) begun quietly laying the groundwork that would strengthen its ties to North Korea, thus increasing its global political leverage should it need it,” analysts at political intelligence firm Stratfor explained in a May 5 report, referring to Putin’s strained ties with the West.
Both countries share a long history of ideological and economic relations — in 2014, Moscow wrote off 90 percent of Pyongyang’s $11 billion debt from the Soviet-era — but recent projects indicate an even cozier relationship.
A new ferry service between Rajin and Vladivostok is due to begin on May 8 that’s expected to carry up to 200 passengers and 1,000 ton of cargo six times a month. Meanwhile in April, Russian military hardware was seen transported to the country’s border with North Korea but the Kremlin claimed the action was part of pre-planned military exercises, Reuters reported. [CNBC]
You can read the rest at the link, but expect the North Koreans to also play the new ROK government against the United States as well in order to secure aid and political support while they continue their nuclear weapons development just like during the Sunshine Policy years.
While the US is busy trying to stop the North Koreans nuclear program, Vladimir Putin and the Russians are allegedly busy planting nuclear bombs off the US coast to create tidal waves:
A former Russian defence ministry spokesman has made an extraordinary claim that Russia is burying nuclear weapons off the coast of America.
Colonel Viktor Baranetz claims that the ‘mole nukes’ would be used to set off a tsunami which could swamp the American coast.
Baranetz made the claims in an interview with the Russian news outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda – claiming that the measures are a response to America’s vast military budget. [Yahoo News]
You can read more at the link.
After reading this article about the slave labor conditions these North Korean workers in Russia are facing; I couldn’t help, but think that this sounded like the conditions many juicy girls used to face not too long ago in South Korea:
A North Korean slave laborer died building a soccer stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for the 2018 World Cup, Norwegian football magazine Josimar reported Thursday. He was one of at least 110 North Korean slave laborers that toil at the building site.
Josimar and Western human rights groups are demanding that FIFA, the international football governing body, delve into abuses of the North Korean workers there.
Josimar found out about them when it was covering the construction of the Krestovsky Stadium, which was completed last month in time for the FIFA Confederations Cup in June.
The North Koreans lived in containers set up in a waste ground 200-300 m from the stadium. They worked at the site from 7 a.m. till midnight every day without a day off, Josimar said.
Their passports had been confiscated and they were under surveillance around the clock, banned from contacting workers from other countries. The site was surrounded by iron fence and barbed wire. A Russian supervisor at the site said the workers were “like robots” and looked deeply unhappy. [Chosun Ilbo]
You can read more at the link.