Why is Russia standing aloof on the Korean Peninsula?

FOR MORE than a year there has been a flurry of diplomatic activity on the Korean Peninsula. But Russia is conspicuously absent from the big game. President Vladimir Putin is yet to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un, who has already held four summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping, three meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and one rendezvous with US President Donald Trump. Moscow did host the first ever Russia–China–North Korea trilateral at the vice foreign minister level in October 2018. Russia is also calling for the easing of sanctions on North Korea to reward Pyongyang for its peaceful gestures such as the nuclear and missile testing moratorium. SEE ALSO: What’s holding back Japan’s peace treaty with Russia? Still, Russia’s current North Korea policy seems rather perfunctory. It lacks drive and energy, indicating that Moscow’s top priorities are elsewhere. The Kremlin’s main geopolitical game at present is in the Middle East, not East Asia. In the wake of Russia’s intervention in Syria, Putin has emerged as the kingpin of the Middle East. This region is now consuming much of Moscow’s foreign policy bandwidth, raising the question of how much is left to spare elsewhere. This is not to say Moscow ignores the Korean Peninsula. But it treats the Peninsula as more or less a secondary priority on the list of Russian foreign policy concerns. Russia’s relative passivity on the Korean Peninsula is also explained by Russia’s limited economic resources. Moscow cannot afford to generously subsidise North Korea as China does through oil supplies and other means. It is notable that Moscow denies as ’stupid’ the reports that Russia offered to build a nuclear power plant in North Korea in exchange for Pyongyang’s abandonment of nuclear weapons. According to Russian officials, Moscow is not able to make North Korea a gift... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Why is Russia standing aloof on the Korean Peninsula?, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Why is Russia standing aloof on the Korean Peninsula?





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Published By: ASIAN CORRESPONDENT - Monday, 18 February



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