Global Insights: Russia’s Positive Role in Korea Talks

Global Insights: Russia’s Positive Role in Korea Talks

Many observers of the Korean Peninsula have traced the apparent relaxation of tensions there to the supporting contributions made by China and the United States, with attention now focusing on the upcoming inter-Korean dialogue. But Russia's role in this process also deserves mention, since Moscow can be a positive force regarding the Koreas.

Throughout the past decade, under Presidents Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, Russian government policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) has remained remarkably consistent, adhering to several key goals, strategies, and tactics.

In the security realm, Russia's objectives include ending provocative actions by either the North or by the ROK-U.S. alliance in response; averting the abrupt collapse of the DPRK regime as well as further nuclear or missile proliferation in East Asia; and eventually peacefully eliminating the DPRK's nuclear program in return for various compensation. Moscow's preferred means to realize these goals is through resuming the Six-Party Talks among China, Japan, Russia, the United States, and two Koreas. Another key Russian goal is to maintain Moscow's position as a major regional security actor.

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