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Unlocking Russian Interests on the Korean Peninsula
U.S. Army Professional Writings ^ | 10/2009 | Major John Bauer

Posted on 12/21/2009 2:27:57 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

The close relationship that once existed between Moscow and Pyongyang is a relic of the Cold War. In fact, there is reason to believe that the two neighbors now share little in common. Yet decades ago, the Soviets exercised tremendous influence over the North Korean regime, anecdotally evidenced by Kim Il-sung's fateful request to Josef Stalin asking to invade the South in 1950. Stalin, after much consternation, finally gave his approval.1 By deferring to Stalin, Kim Il-sung sought continued Soviet support, which he received for roughly 40 years until the breakup of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, however, this partnership changed significantly.

Russia's national interests have conspicuously drifted since then, favoring South Korea over the North. What has caused the shift in Moscow's attention south from Pyongyang to Seoul, and what are the strategic consequences of this development in light of South Korea's goal to one day reunify the peninsula? This striking change in Russian focus is significant because it offers opportunities to enhance the United States-Republic of Korea alliance, opportunities that should be carefully incorporated into America's strategic planning.

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TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: fareast; koreanpeninsula; moscow; northkorea; opinion; pyongyang; russia; seoul

1 posted on 12/21/2009 2:27:58 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove

Even the People’s Republic of China favors South Korea over the North. The Chinese only prop up the North to prevent its collapse, otherwise they would rather trade and make deals with the South. Both Russia and China see North Korea as being a rogue child state, which is less developed and civilized than Iran.

2 posted on 12/21/2009 8:33:17 AM PST by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way...
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To: Thunder90

I agree with you.

3 posted on 12/21/2009 5:52:57 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("We will either find a way, or make one."Hannibal/Carthaginian Military Commander)
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