Russia and North Korea, 1992-2006: From distant allies to normal neighbors

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This article examines the metamorphosis of Russia-North Korean relations from alienated allies to normal allies from 1991 to 2006. This research begins with a discussion of the distant relationship under Yeltsin and the normalized relationship under Putin. It then examines Russia's role in the midst of the North Korean nuclear crisis. This is followed by an analysis of Russia's saber-rattling in connection with North Korea's nuclear issue. By way of conclusion, this study makes a few observations on the current state and future prospects of the Russo-DPRK relations. After the implosion of the Soviet empire, the Russian Federation lost a global superpower status and has been groping to find a proper place in Northeast Asia as a great power. Even-handedness and balance now characterize Putin's Korea policy. With the convening of the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear issue in August 2003, Russia was for the first time allowed to sit at a multinational negotiating table to discuss the North Korean question. Russia's role at the negotiating table has been marginal and its efforts for resolving North Korea's nuclear issue have focused on good offices and mediation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-99
Number of pages35
JournalKorea Observer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Kim Jong-il
  • North Korea
  • North Korea's nuclear crisis
  • Putin
  • Six-party talks
  • Ussia


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