US-Russia Relations


The unanticipated outbreak of a Korean peace process replete with unprecedented DPRK-US and inter-Korean summits has upended previous calculations among all the members of the six-party process in Korea. Every interested party is trying somehow to join the summit process.1 We see an acceleration of summits involving all parties to the peace process. Kim Jong-un has already held three summits with President Xi Jinping of China, two with South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and one with President Donald Trump. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan is also seeking a summit with Kim, pending progress on the abductions issue.2 And Moon has just concluded a visit to President Vladmir Putin in Moscow. This frenetic diplomatic activity since March indicates continued turbulence. Russia, China, and Japan were clearly surprised by North Korea’s initiatives towards summits with South Korea and the United States, and their subsequent moves towards the United States and both Koreas underscore their efforts to reassert standing as participants with vital interests in the outcome of any negotiations. Indeed, one Chinese news report openly warned against feeling marginalized, but that is exactly what all three felt, and evidently still worry about.3 Despite its meetings with Kim, China evidently still fears being excluded from peace talks about formally ending the Korean War.4 Moscow too clearly worries about a peace process discounting it—for instance bypassing the six-party process—and it has scrambled to keep up since the process began.5

For Moscow events have accelerated. Emboldened as a result of the Singapore Summit with Kim, Trump has now rushed to hold a summit with Putin in July in Europe, probably in Vienna,6  despite the misgivings of many of Trump’s advisers.7 Putin has extended an invitation for Kim to visit Russia, probably in September, and hosted Moon in June with the clear aim of reinserting Russia as a key player in the fast-moving Korean peace process. For Putin, achieving meaningful progress in both arenas, improved ties with Washington and a revitalized place in a peace process, will be difficult, but much depends on the attitudes of the other leaders.

Korea in particular and Asia in general do not rank high on the agenda of bilateral Russo-US relations. The US agenda of relations with Russia focuses on Ukraine, Europe, Syria, arms control, and Russian interference in Western elections and politics. Washington, since the 1990s has all but ignored Russia’s Asian policies, and expert US writings similarly ignore Russia’s claim to a major status in Asia and on the Korean Peninsula.8 Yet, the agenda of the impending Trump-Putin summit will be set by the two men, who may ignore such past considerations.

One of the main lines of Russian policy on the Korean crisis for the last several years is that North Korea went nuclear because of persistent US threats to Pyongyang; therefore, Washington has to make the first move towards reconciliation.9 Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Pyongyang showed just how much Russia is trying to catch up to China and avert marginalization. Lavrov predictably invited Kim to Moscow, echoed Kim’s approach that any denuclearization be phased over time, and denounced sanctions, and said that they should be lifted before denuclearization. Meanwhile Moscow continues to violate the sanctions that it voted for at the UN.10 Under the circumstances, Moscow may not feel called upon to make any gestures to Washington. This posture would hardly make Moscow seem credible to Washington, but Trump’s response is not necessarily that of past US presidents, and he is keen on declaring talks with Putin a success. 

It is by no means clear that Washington would welcome Moscow playing a key role, as Trump now seeks to deal directly with North Korea. As Gilbert Rozman has written in the introduction,
The Trump administration’s policy toward North Korea in the week or so just after the summit can be characterized as follows: 1) a breakthrough was achieved, which no prior US president accomplished, forging an atmosphere of trust, greatly reducing the chance of nuclear war, and unleashing sustained diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, to which other countries are encouraged to join; 2) Trump-Kim relations are the centerpiece of diplomatic activity, and diplomacy by other states with Washington and Pyongyang should be complementary, not interfering with the main game while reinforcing it, as in dangling carrots before Kim that Trump has no interest in providing; 3) sanctions must be sustained until complete denuclearization is secured.11

Moscow’s call for reducing sanctions in advance of denuclearization and efforts to insert itself between Washington and Pyongyang directly contradict these key points in what now appears to be the US approach to North Korea. Putin, however, may see Trump’s softness toward Kim and desire for similar claims to success from the Trump-Putin summit as a rare opening to be seized.

It is hardly clear that North Korea looks to Moscow to be a mediator and/or interlocutor with Washington. Even though Kim has now visited China three times since March, he has yet to visit Russia or (as of this writing) confirm that he will accept Putin’s invitation. Lavrov’s trip to Pyongyang was his first in a decade. Although Moon has just left, Russia’s low standing in the regional pecking order and apparent marginalization cast a harsh light on unending proclamations of the success of Russia’s Korean and larger Asian policies, i.e. its “pivot to Asia.” In reality, the main line of Russian policy is the fear of being excluded from the Korean settlement and corresponding determination to be taken seriously as a player in this process, aggravated by Kim’s initiation of the summitry process that torpedoed Moscow’s earlier efforts to set up a tripartite summit with North Korea and China, a gambit that Pyongyang only accepted at the last minute.12 Lavrov then offered Russia as a mediator between Pyongyang and Washington.13

Lavrov and numerous Russian analysts have also reiterated the argument that peace can only come through a rejuvenated six-party process, where Moscow plays an equal part to other countries, and peace comes only through a step-by step process, leading to restructuring Asian security in general, even though Russia was not a belligerent in the Korean War and lacks legal standing to sign a paper formally ending that war. Specifically, Lavrov observed:
In accordance with the logic that this [six-party] mechanism is based on, we support the current changes in relations between the two Korean states, as well as between Pyongyang and Washington… It will require step-by-step actions, consistency and patience. […] At the final stage of the process, multilateral talks involving all the six countries will become inevitable, which is what the Russian-Chinese road map implies… The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should be supported by mechanisms ensuring peace and stability in Southeast Asia.14 

Kim was happy to complain to Lavrov about US “hegemonism,”15 but that only entails a promise to exchange views with Russia, not any consideration of Russia as a credible mediator.16
The presumption that another mediator is needed derives from the belief that the summit and its aftermath will go so badly that neither side will be able to communicate effectively with each other or through someone other than Russia. It is hardly likely that Washington would then solicit Russian mediation. After all, Trump has accepted the need for some sort of phased denuclearization.17 

Trump will not accept that other governments are writing the script that is now being followed between the United States and North Korea, even if Lavrov, echoing Russian commentators, claimed that the process leading to the summit corresponded to the 2017-18 joint Sino-Russian “roadmap.”18 While Trump has frozen US-ROK exercises and North Korea has suspended its tests, as this “roadmap” calls for, it is unlikely that this was due to Russian prompting. Russo-Chinese program would leave DPRK nuclear weapons in place while reducing readiness if not capability among ROK and US forces, in line with the impression that Moscow actually does not support North Korea’s full denuclearization, the primary US goal. Russian diplomacy still asserts that all of its initiatives are successful, not least the “pivot to Asia” of which Korea policy is a key element.19  

Another factor operating against Moscow being able to use its posture on the Korean issue to improve ties to Washington at or after the impending Trump-Putin summit is the immense amount of suspicion generated by its policies throughout the executive branch and Congress.  Russia’s policies and refusal to back away from any of them—Ukraine, Syria, European security, arms control, or efforts to subvert the Transatlantic alliance—have so poisoned the atmosphere in Washington that it is well-nigh impossible for these branches of power to support a dialogue with Russia without preceding Russian concessions, no matter what Trump might want or say.  Indeed, this author has participated in some of these efforts to find a shared basis for a dialogue with Moscow that were utterly unavailing. Therefore, it is unlikely that Moscow will either prove its reliability regarding Korea to the United States or effect a breakthrough at this summit. 

Economic Issues

Beyond the preceding considerations, there are also compelling material reasons why Russia is unlikely to be successful in leveraging its position on Korea to increase its standing vis-à-vis Washington, or probably anyone else. First, it is unlikely to be in a position to be able to offer either Korea compelling material reasons for accepting it as a key interlocutor. In Lavrov’s discussions with Kim, he again harped on Russia’s long-standing desire for tripartite infrastructural projects to unite Russia with both Koreas:
We discussed certain steps that can be made towards this, including the old idea of launching trilateral projects between the two Korean states and Russia to link their railway networks and to build a gas pipeline as well as energy projects. The desire to re-unite the railway systems expressed by the leaders of North Korea and South Korea at their meeting in Panmunjom has given a new lease on life to these trilateral cooperation initiatives.20

There are well-known Russian projects for a trans-Siberian railway connection to a projected trans-Korean railroad, an idea that originated in the 1890s, and a trans-Siberian gas pipeline that would then connect to a trans-Korean gas pipeline from which North and South Korea could get gas, and North Korea would also be able to charge tariffs. Putin and Moon also discussed these projects at their summit as well as a plan to provide both Koreas with electricity from Siberia, thus creating an electricity grid for North Korea that would help it develop economically and reduce its need for nuclear energy.21 According to Moon, “President Putin and I have agreed to launch business projects to prepare for potential trilateral cooperation involving South and North Korea and Russia… Launching joint research on connecting railroads, electrical grid and natural-gas lines will be a starting point.” Discussion of such projects accords with South Korea’s vision of its future role in the global economy:
Under Moon’s “New Northern Policy,” Seoul sees cooperation with Moscow taking place over nine “bridges”: gas, rail, electricity, shipbuilding, job creation, the Northern Sea Route, seaports, agriculture and fishing. The most promising initiatives could include linking Russia and South Korea with rail lines, LNG (liquefied natural gas) pipelines and their electric grids via North Korea. The possibility of running rail and LNG pipeline links between Russia and South Korea via North Korea was first explored during the Southern administration of Kim Dae-jung (1998-2003).22

Similarly, Putin announced that KOGAS (South Korea’s natural gas company) might buy into Russia’s second LNG project from the Arctic (i.e. a pipeline other than the newly completed Yamal pipeline).23

These discussions highlight the growing importance of the Arctic for both Seoul and Moscow, especially in light of the latter’s “pivot to Asia.” The Korean Peninsula is particularly important to Russia because these large-scale economic projects possess correspondingly large potential political payoffs that it seeks to generate. Moscow is playing for very high stakes (economic and political), but failure to capitalize politically on its “investments” in North and South Korea would entail further marginalization if a genuine “peace process” developed. Failure to register here as a great power affects other crucial areas of Russian policy like the Arctic, given the importance of Korean ports to transcontinental trade between Europe and Asia through the Arctic and the Arctic’s critical importance to Russia’s future. 

Alexander Korolev wrote in 2016 about then President Park’s Eurasia initiative:
Park’s “Eurasian initiative” highlights extending transportation, energy and trade networks that connect the Pacific coast to Europe and its capacity to engage North Korea [and] becomes an indispensable element of this geopolitical model.  South Korea’ rail network is supposed to be linked with the Trans-Siberian railway, and new energy cooperation must link energy infrastructures, including electricity grids, gas and oil pipelines, and co-developing China’s shale gas and Eastern Siberia’s petroleum and gas.  This can stimulate trade and, more importantly, provide material foundations for reforms in North Korea and, eventually Korea’s unification.24

Some South Korean experts argued that when the Trans-Siberian and a trans-Korean railway are united along with the opening of a trans-Siberian-trans-Korean gas pipeline and Korean ships can go to the Arctic through the Russian Far East, this initiative would be realized.25 Completion of a pilot project connecting Khasan in Russia and Rajin in North Korea’s Special Economic Zone by rail and rebuilding the port of Rajin is a significant development.26 Russian writers also cite other infrastructural projects with North Korea, the settlement of its debts to Russia, and willingness to trade bilaterally in rubles as signs of progress.27

Undoubtedly, the Arctic connection through Korea possesses considerable importance to Russia, but China and South Korea have preceded it here. Beijing, like Moscow, long ago grasped the desirability of access to North Korean ports to exploit the Arctic commercially. Moscow fears that China may use Rajin port to gain access to the Arctic and minimize thereby its commercial exposure in the developing Northern Sea Route (NSR). Meanwhile China has also gained access to another North Korean port at Chongjin on the East China Sea. While China is interested in the DPRK’s ports to gain access for its northeastern provinces, the Arctic connection is clearly not far from Russia’s mind, as Russian analysts observe:
The most significant Arctic-related shipping development in China is the leasing of North Korea’s port Hunchun Chuangli Haiyun Logistics Ltd, based in neighboring Jillin {sic} province, in northeastern China. Rajin lies on the far northeastern tip of North Korea, near its border with Russia. The company is private, but the lease was agreed ‘in cooperation with six Chinese ministries and the Jillin provincial government.’ In 2008 a 10-year lease was signed for Rajin’s Pier 1. This granted China access to the Sea of Japan for the first time since 1938. Although the Arctic was not mentioned in media reports about the lease, Chinese scholars presumably view Rajin as a potential Arctic hub. According to several Chinese analysts, the opening of Arctic shipping routes will be beneficial for the Tumen river area. In late 2011 the lease was extended for another 20 years. A year later, Hunchun Chuangli’s parent company, Dalian Chuangli Group, was granted 50-year leases on Rajin’s piers 4, 5 and 6.28

Chinese observers feared exclusion from this Russian-DPRK project, e.g. Zhou Yongsheng urged China’s inclusion.29 After the Russia-DPRK project was suspended as China’s Arctic reach was growing, its economic primacy in foreign economic ties to North Korea is uncontested and a major factor of its leverage over the entire complex of North Korean issues. Meanwhile Russia has just cut its spending on Arctic transport infrastructure by 90%.30  Even before 2018 China had preempted Russia here.  

For South Korea, however, the political objective is a thriving relationship with Russia that will allow it unimpeded access to Arctic shipping routes and help facilitate North Korea’s eventual return to the community of nations. But the economic vision far transcends the eventual reintegration of North Korea. As Mia Bennett writes:
Essentially, South Korea can be seen as part of an enlarged zone of Arctic destinational trade that includes the areas beyond the Arctic Ocean’s littoral, stretching from the ports of northern Scandinavia, around the coast of the Russian Far East and Sakhalin, and down into the ports of Northeast Asia.31

Along similar lines, Young Kil Park advocated developing a strategic plan to connect the East China Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Arctic Ocean with a land-based approach to integrate communities near the East China Sea like Mongolia, the Russian Far East, and Northeast China.  As Bennett observes, “Park’s views encapsulate the desire in some Korean policy circles to further integrate the country into its regional neighborhood by sea and land as a means of building a foothold into the nearby Arctic, the problem of North Korea, notwithstanding.”32

The Arctic’s energy riches are also of much interest to South Korea since it is the fifth largest importer of crude oil and second largest importer of LNG. Because most of these imports depend upon transiting the already contested Straits of Hormuz, the NSR holds much promise as an alternative for South Korea and other Asian states. South Korea already possesses a large fleet of LNG tankers since pipelines are not in the offing anytime soon  Improved ties to Russia make great sense in this context.33 While Russia obviously benefits from this trend, it has not progressed much under the new South Korean government, and South Korea benefits too as the United States is apparently entering in a big way the Asian energy market and will compete with Russia for market share.34 Trump’s apparent dismissal of a large US economic program for North Korea opens the way to Chinese preponderance in any postwar economic reconstruction there, hardly a desirable outcome for Russia.35

Moon’s comments do open up possibilities for Russia to use the Korean peace process to advance its ties with Washington, but there are serious obstacles. First, even if the various infrastructural programs materialize, somebody will have to foot the bill, and it is unlikely Russia can do that now any more than it could fifteen years ago.36 Second, there is as yet no sign that Pyongyang, which has been an obstacle all along to the realization of these projects, will consent to Moscow’s terms. Third, the United States, sensing a rising opportunity to expand shale and other energy exports to Asia, may step in and provide the needed energy on its own. And South Korean companies are already gearing up to import US shale, develop shale and LNG fields with US companies, and even buy terminals and refineries in the continental United States.37

Fourth, it is by no means certain that China will allow Russia to become a major economic and thus political rival for influence in North Korea. By virtue of its economic and military power, China will undoubtedly continue to play a major role. Sino-Russian intimacy affects all the relationships that comprise North Korea, and North Korea can play them off against each other, believing that, rhetoric aside, Russia and China will have its back and prevent any truly terrible outcome. Even as they vote for sanctions, Moscow and Beijing are still covertly supplying North Korea. Indeed, China may be manipulating the sanctions weapon to bring North Korea back under control.38 Yet at the same time, North Korea, with good reason, trusts neither China nor Russia. This mistrust is of long standing.39 One reason for going nuclear is to emancipate North Korea from China’s tutelage. American ties might become much more important than the Russian connection, especially if Washington can offer the same things as Moscow can and on better terms. 


For many Russian observers and officials, even going back to Yeltsin, a primary purpose, if not the primary purpose, of the ever-growing intimacy with China that arguably has now become an alliance is to enhance Moscow’s ability to stand up to Washington. Yet, precisely Russia’s failure to modernize its economy has rendered it less able to compete with China or the United States. Because it is obsessed with its great power status against Washington, since the invasion of Crimea and the imposition of sanctions, it has had no choice but to become China’s ally, a role in which it is visibly more dependent on Chinese economic and political support. Despite six years of intense discussions launched by the Abe government, Russian relations with Japan have made little if any substantive progress either economically or politically. Both governments may intend to cooperate to bring peace to Korea, but actually they have both been marginalized here, and Tokyo effectively must rely on Washington to advance its interests on the peninsula. Moscow is left to face Pyongyang in the shadow of Beijing’s agenda with limited room to act.

In regard to the overall agenda of Asian security, Russia is ever more inclined to follow China’s agenda, be it in the South China Sea or Korea. The “roadmap” that the two governments advanced in 2017-18 regarding Korea does nothing to arrest nuclear proliferation while it would reduce US-ROK capabilities and readiness. In the South China Sea, China demands the surrender of Rosneft and by extension the Russian government to its demands for a veto over all drilling projects in those waters, something that contradicts long-standing Russian interests in Southeast Asia and with its partner Vietnam. On the critical issue of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the supposed tie-in to the Eurasian Economic Union, the keystone of Putin’s vision of Eurasian integration, the evidence suggests that rhetoric aside, China will exclude Russia from all but a few crumbs of the rich opportunities that are potentially going to open up in regard to the vision of intercontinental trade and Eurasian economic integration. And China has preempted Russia in the race to gain access to Korean ports and intercontinental trade through the Arctic.

It is premature to weigh Russia’s prospects in the whirlwind of diplomacy around North Korea. The chances are not small that it would gain a meaningful role in a cooperative process, although nothing like the special salience it has been seeking since Putin went to Pyongyang in 2000 en route to a G-7 summit in Japan. Leaders are inclined to accept it as a genuine player secondary to all but Japan and even Japan has more options if it should employ its finances as part of an historic settlement. Yet, if an adversarial process resumes, Russia is more likely to gain prominence, taking sides more openly with the North Korean leaders. 

In that case, Moscow would draw still closer to Beijing, a trend that works against its greater Asian interests. Yet, gravitating towards the Washington and Seoul means inclusion in that larger formation as a “junior-rank” player. In either case the consequences of past missteps mean that Russia will not be able to play an independent or leading role in resolving Korean security issues. If it turns towards China, it might retain the illusion of great power status in its own mind but surrender it conclusively in reality. Inclining towards Washington and Seoul means a more explicit repudiation of that great power dream that is, in any case unsustainable, as far as these issues go. But it actually enhances Russia’s independence, prosperity, and security. However, Moscow, as experience shows, evidently does not view things in this perspective. As it now faces the necessity of rethinking its Korean and Asian policy in light of the events of the last three months and the real possibility of restructuring of Northeast Asian relations, it appears that Washington is prepared to explore that outcome. But if Moscow fails to undertake a similar exploration, its rhetoric will not match the reality of marginalization. And then, as Virgil wrote, if it cannot “move heaven” it will have to raise hell. Russia could well find itself marginalized, and, as after 1905, that would be fraught with profound consequences for both Asia and Russia.

1. Clint Work, “US-North Korea-South Korea: Three’s Company or a Crowd?” The Diplomat, June 7, 2018; David Nakamura, “Rival Powers Scramble For Influence Ahead of Trump-Kim Summit In Singapore,” The Washington Post, June 6, 2018,; Lee Jeong-Ho and Sarah Zheng, “China, Russia and Japan Seek Seats at the Table with Kim Jong-un, Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump,” South China Morning Post, April 26, 2018,

2. “Reports: Japan Seeking Direct Talks Between PM Abe, N. Korea’s Kim,” Voa, June 14, 2018,  

3. Lee-Jeong-Ho and Sarah Zheng, “China, Russia and Japan Seek Seats at the Table.”

4. Jane Perlez, “China, Feeling Left Out, Has Plenty to Worry About in North Korea-U.S. Talks,” The New York Times, April 22, 2018,

5. Artyom Lukin, “From the ‘Diplotinament’ Of Summits To Six-Party Talks,” Valdai Club, June 1, 2018,

6. “Austria Gearing Up For Putin-Trump Meeting In Vienna On July 15 – Report,” TASS, June 24, 2018,

7. “Trump Advisors ‘Ignored’ President’s Request for Meeting With Putin – Reports,” Sputnik News, June 16, 2018,

8. Stephen Blank, “The End of Russian Power in Asia?”  Orbis, Spring 2012, pp. 249-266.

9. Stephen Blank, ”Making Sense of Russo-North Korea Relations,” in Gilbert Rozman and Sergei Radchenko, eds., International Relations and Asia’s Northern Tier: Sino-Russian Relations North Korea, and Mongolia (Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 283-299; Stephen Blank, “Russia and the Two Koreas In the Context of Moscow’s Asian Policy,” Academic Paper Series, Korean Economic Institute of America, October 2015; also in Gilbert Rozman, ed., On Korea, 2016 (Washington, D.C.: Korean Economic Institute of America, 2016), pp. 60-76.

10. “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions following talks with Foreign Minister of North Korea Ri Yong-ho,” Pyongyang, May 31, 2018,

11. Gilbert Rozman, “Introduction,” The Asan Forum.

12. Vladimir Frolov, “On North Korea, Trump Has Putin Playing Second Fiddle,” Moscow Times, June 7, 2018, Johnson’s Russia List, June 7, 2018.

13. Ibid.

14. Lee-Jeong-Ho and Sarah Zheng; “Lavrov Expects Visit to Pyongyang to Help Understand North Korea’s Position,” TASS, May 30, 2018,

15. “Kim Jong Un Complains Of U.S. ‘Hegemonism’ to Russia’s Sergey Lavrov,” CBS, May 31, 2018,

16. Ibid.

17. John Wagner, “Trump Says He Might Accept a ‘Phase-In’ Of North Korea’s Denuclearization,” The Washington Post, May 24, 2018,

18. “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s Statement and Answers To Media Questions At a Joint News Conference by BRICS Foreign Ministers Following Their Meeting,” Pretoria, June 4, 2018,; Stephen Blank, “Is There Still a Role For Russia in the Korean ‘Peace Process?’” Eurasian Daily Monitor, May 14, 2018,

19. Alexander Lukin, Pivot To Asia: Russian Foreign Policy Enters the 21st Century (New Delhi Vij Books India PVT LTD, 2016), p. 87; Sergei Karaganov, “Russia’s Victory, New Concert of Nations,” Russia in Global Affairs,;Vladimir Petrovsky, “Russia and Asia-Pacific Economic Integration: Seeking a “Point of Entry,” Far Eastern Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 4 (2015), p. 10; “Round Table: Relations Between the PRC and the U.S.A. At Present: Prospects and Challenges for Russia,” Far Eastern Affairs, Vol. 43, No. 4 (2015), p. 57; Anna Kireeva, “Russia’s East Asia Policy: New Opportunities and Challenges,” Perceptions, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Winter 2012).

20. Lee and Zheng; “Lavrov Expects Visit to Pyongyang to Help Understand North Korea’s Position.”

21. Andrew Salmon, “Moon in Russia: Gas Pipeline No Longer a Pipe Dream,” Asia Times, June 23, 2018,

22. Ibid.

23. “Putin says S.Korea’s Kogas May Join Arctic LNG-2 Project,” Reuters, June 22, 2018

24. Alexander Korolev, “Russia’s Reorientation to Asia: Causes and Strategic Implications,” Pacific Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 1 (March 2016), p. 3

25. Ibid.

26. Ibid,pp. 3-4

27. Blank, “Making Sense of Russo-North Korea Relations,” pp. 283-299.

28. Linda Jacobson and Jingchao Peng, “China’s Arctic Aspirations,” Sipri Policy Paper, No. 34, 2012, pp. 7-8.

29. Yonhap, November 28, 2013; FBIS SOV, November 28, 2013

30. 32 Stephen Blank, “The Bloom Comes off the Arctic Rose,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, July 20, 2017

31. Mia Bennett, “The Maritime Tiger: Exploring South Korea’s Interests and Role in the Arctic,” Strategic Analysis, Vol. 38, No. 6 (2014), p. 892.

32. Ibid, p. 893.

33. Ibid, pp. 893-895.

34. Yasuo Takeuchi and Ryosuke Hanafusa, “US Shale Gushes into Asia,” Nikkei Asian Review, May 22, 2018,

35. Jane Perlez, “A Trump-Kim Deal Could Send China’s Trade With North Korea Soaring,” The New York Times, June 5, 2018,

36. Elizabeth Wishnick, “Russian-North Korean Relations: A New Era?” in Samuel S. Kim and Tai Hwan Lee, eds., North Korea and Northeast Asia (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2002), p. 145; and Yoshinnori Takeda, “Putin’s Foreign Policy Toward North Korea,” International Journal of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 6, No. 2 (2006), p. 202.

37. Yasuo Takeuchi and Ryosuke Hanafusa, “US Shale Gushes into Asia.”

38. Samuel Ramani, “Why Russia Is Openly Violating Sanctions Against North Korea,” The Washington Post, April 23, 2018,

39. Balasz, Szalontai, Kim Il Sung In the Khrushchev Era: Soviet DPRK Relations and the Roots Of North Korean Despotism, 1953-1964, (Washington, D.C. and Stanford, CA: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press, 2005); “North Korean Attitudes Toward China: A Historical View of Contemporary Difficulties,” Wilson Center, April 6, 2009,

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