JRL NEWSWATCH: “Where Does the Russia-North Korea Relationship Stand?” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Scott A. Snyder

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

“… Kim desperately needed to replace the narrative of weakness after failing to make a widely expected deal with the United States at the Hanoi summit with a narrative of strength, both domestically and internationally. Last week’s summit with Putin allowed Kim to show stature internationally and discuss alternatives to the U.S.-proposed big deal on denuclearization. But he failed to win Russian support for weakening the international sanctions regime. For Putin, the summit provided an opportunity to emphasize Russia’s relevance in Korean peace and denuclearization negotiations, which have so far been dominated by the United States and South Korea. … Putin reiterated the importance of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, but he also backed North Korea’s advocacy of a phased process involving confidence-building measures with the United States. Putin provided no visible sanctions relief, despite bringing economic and energy ministers to discuss Russian and inter-Korean railway and energy projects. … Russia-North Korea trade in 2018 totaled just $34 million, a 56 percent decrease from 2017, significantly less than the $2.43 billion between China and North Korea in 2018. …”

Click here for: Where Does the Russia-North Korea Relationship Stand? Russian President Putin reiterated the importance of denuclearization during last week’s summit, but did not provide visible sanctions relief for North Korean leader Kim.” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Scott A. Snyder