Putin’s ‘carrot and stick’ in the North Korea crisis

Putin's 'carrot and stick' in the North Korea crisis 0
Putin's 'carrot and stick' in the North Korea crisis 0

Mr. Putin seems to want to intervene more deeply in the North Korean crisis.

`They are willing to eat grass, but they will not give up their nuclear program until they feel safe,` Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on September 5 about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, after

Observers believe that Mr. Putin’s statement is a sign that Russia is seeking to assert a larger role in the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Both the US and its allies and North Korea are responding to Russia’s increasing intervention with quite complex policies.

`They want to participate in negotiations, they want to have a role, they want to gain influence to play the role of either a disruptor or a negotiator,` an anonymous senior official in the US government admitted.

Signs of Russia’s increased involvement in the North Korean issue are easy to see.

Commentator Josh Rogin said that Mr. Putin’s statements were more drastic than China’s statements, when Beijing only considered Mr. Trump’s threat to cut off trade with countries doing business with Pyongyang.

Three US administration officials said that in addition to public statements, Russia has also sought to intervene more deeply in the North Korean crisis through secret diplomatic channels.

Russia has also invited Choe Son Hui, deputy director of the Department of American Affairs of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, to visit the country in late September, a US official said.

`This gives Russia the opportunity to show the United States that it can contribute to or hinder Washington’s foreign policy,` said Paul Saunders, director of the Center for American National Interests.


Putin's 'carrot and stick' in the North Korea crisis

Mr. Putin (left) and Mr. Trump in a bilateral meeting.

However, Russia’s efforts to participate in resolving the North Korean crisis have so far only received skepticism from the United States.

US administration officials affirmed that dialogue with North Korea is not an option being considered at this time, because Washington is focusing on increasing pressure on Pyongyang and cooperating with Beijing to implement the agreement.

The ability to coordinate between Russia and the US to resolve the North Korea issue is also increasingly difficult due to the investigation into the connection between Trump’s election campaign and Moscow as well as the ongoing diplomatic retaliation war between

Experts say that Russia certainly knows this, so Moscow’s intervention effort shows that Mr. Putin is more interested in helping Russia assert itself and show its position before the US than finding a solution.

If Russia can establish an important role in the North Korea issue, it can use it as a bargaining chip in other issues.

`This is part of Putin’s big policy,` said Dimitri Simes, president of the US Center for National Security.

According to commentator Rogin, faced with this reality, the Trump administration needs to open the door for Russia to become part of the solution to the North Korea problem, because Russia’s intervention in the North Korea crisis only brings negative consequences.

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