On April 25, the Russian-North Korean summit will be held in Vladivostok, which will be the opposite of the failed Kim and Trump summit in Hanoi
Attempt by US President Donald Trump for beautiful words and sweet promises that cost nothing to Washington, put in the pocket of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with all his missiles, the atomic bomb and the economy, in addition, ended up with a bluff at the February summit in Hanoi. Trump’s clapping a “good guy” Kim on the shoulder and a “lovely dinner” is all that has happened. The conversation essentially failed, the American dictate did not pass, and the summit participants dispersed in a hurry. Perhaps this was partly because only Xi Jinping, the leader of the People’s Republic of China, a country that has something to lose in relations with the United States, invisibly stood behind Kim, but there was no Vladimir Putin, the head of another great power, and also a neighbor, who has practically nothing to lose.
In the event of a final failure of negotiations with the United States, which are clearly at an impasse, it will be very difficult for North Korea to survive with only one China. It will be much better if one more support appears, even if it is smaller. If Pyongyang finally manages to agree on something with Washington, then who knows if this will be due to the fact that Moscow now intends to play a more active role on the Korean Peninsula?
In general, Kim needs to meet with Putin, since the weight of Pyongyang after this meeting will only increase.
The North Korean leader has already arrived on his famous armored train to Russia with the first visit after he came to power in 2011 to head a delegation of 230 people. He was met by the leadership of the Russian Far East, on Thursday there will be a meeting with President Putin. It all started quite at home, as, however, and will end: Kim after the departure of the President of Russia to the second summit of the countries “Belts and Roads” to Beijing will linger in Vladivostok for another day with a cultural program. The talks between the heads of state will take place on the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island.
Of course, Russia does not want to create the impression that it is going to “beat off” North Korea from Trump, in particular, by reviving the “Six-Party Talks” on denuclearization. Nevertheless, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, praised this format, in which Pyongyang has not participated since 2008, and which in addition to the two Koreas also covers Russia, China, the United States and Japan. According to Peskov, this international mechanism is directly “designed to help find solutions to solve the problem of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and there are currently no other effective international mechanisms.” He did not rule out the efforts of other countries, which all “deserve support if they really pursue the goal of denuclearization and, in general, solving the problem of the two Koreas.”
Obviously, the revival of this format, the internationalization of the North Korean nuclear problem in the present conditions is a big plus for both Pyongyang and Moscow, thus increasing their weight in East Asian affairs.
The success of the Vladivostok summit, unlike the Singaporean and especially Hanoi, is predetermined, because in the capital of Primorye there will be leaders of sovereign countries suffering from hegemonism and tough sanctions pressing the United States and their vassals.
After North Korea ceased nuclear-missile testing in 2018 and officially declared its desire to “actively contribute to the construction of a nuclear-free world in accordance with the common goals of mankind,” Russia, against which the West, with the suggestion of Americans, constantly introduces new sanctions, has no reason to suffer from the UN sanctions against the DPRK, dictated in many respects by the same US. On the contrary, there is a need to encourage Pyongyang for the peacefulness shown by it, to mutual benefit. Such a reason, as well as the sincere desire of Pyongyang to peacefully negotiate with the United States, but not to capitulate, relieve tensions and begin to actively cooperate with South Korea, should definitely be used.
Meanwhile, due to the sanctions that had lost their meaning in 2018, the trade turnover between the two countries fell by 56% to a ridiculous amount of $ 34 million, although this situation can be easily changed even with UN sanctions. At a meeting of the Russia-DPRK intergovernmental commission held on March 4–6, the establishment of a joint clearing mechanism was discussed. It is assumed that trade between both countries will be based on barter, without the use of banking transactions. At the end of each quarter, the balance sheet will be reduced in rubles according to the results of operations. If one of the parties remains with the other, the debt will be “selected” in the future by the goods of the indebted party.
Thus, Russia and North Korea have no reason to put up with the damage that the United States inflicts on their trade and economic cooperation projects. The construction of a bridge across the border river Misty is one of them. Finally, since it is beneficial for both Russia and the DPRK, it is necessary to stop reducing the number of North Korean workers in the Far East suffering from a shortage of workers in the interests of the United States. At the end of 2018, their number did not exceed 10 thousand people. Before that, there were many times more hardworking and disciplined North Korean workers. And if North Korea wants to improve the supply of Russian electricity, attract investments to modernize as many sectors of the economy as possible, and it’s also profitable for Russia to build railways in the DPRK and extract minerals, then they need to do this with the maximum reach.
The upcoming meeting between Putin and Kim, which will strengthen the positions of both politicians and make their countries stronger, will be devoted to the discussion and resolution of these and other “specific” issues.