A Russian delegation led by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Vyacheslav Lebedev visits the statues of late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, Pyongyang, North Korea, April 16, 2015 (AP photo by Kim Kwang Hyon).

As North Korea continues to antagonize its neighbors and the United States with threats of nuclear warfare, many have looked to China to rein in its contentious ally. But Russia has also spent years cultivating close ties with Pyongyang, providing it with vital diplomatic protection at the United Nations Security Council, even if economic ties have lagged. In this email interview, Richard Weitz, director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, discusses what is driving the relationship between the two countries, how it has evolved, and how it impacts efforts to isolate the North Korean regime in […]

Protesters shout as they hold umbrellas during a rally demanding peace on the Korean peninsula, Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 (AP photo by Lee Jin-man).

The current tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs have become a U.S.-North Korea bilateral story, as the two countries’ leaders spar in public. In addition, coordinating with the South Korean government is tricky when the political philosophies in Washington and Seoul diverge. Comparing this current crisis to regional stresses in Europe over Russia and in the Arab world over Iran shows how the immediate neighbors of an adversarial state often have different interests than Washington. And even when threat perceptions converge, policy preferences may not. The current alignment of politics and policies in Washington and Seoul is not optimal […]

U.S. troops, part of a NATO mission to enhance Poland’s defense, prepare for an official welcoming ceremony, Orzysz, Poland, April 13, 2017 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

Ever since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and military intervention in eastern Ukraine, NATO’s Eastern European member states have expressed mounting concern over their own security. Moscow still holds substantial political capital in the region and, as evinced by upcoming war games that will bring some 100,000 Russian troops to their borders in September, is willing to use its military capabilities to ratchet up tensions. WPR has compiled 10 articles analyzing the politics of Eastern European security in the face of renewed Russian adventurism. Purchase this special report as a Kindle e-book. The Political Battlefield How to Deter Russia From […]