Korean Knot


Behind the Hype: Russia’s Stance on North Korea

Despite occasional flurries of plans and activity, there is little chance of radical change in Russian-North Korean relations, and the bilateral problems are not the result of sanctions.

Bad Cop, Mediator or Spoiler: Russia’s Role on the Korean Peninsula

Despite Russia’s limited toolkit, growing alignment with China, and its broken relationship with the U.S., Moscow will not be written off by Washington and its allies when it comes to the diplomatic process on North Korea.

Strategic Stability in the Twenty-First Century: The North Korean Nuclear Threat

North Korea’s statements of its intention to abandon nuclear weapons should not be taken too seriously: the country considers them to be the most important guarantee of the regime’s preservation. For now, North Korean nuclear weapons play a primarily defensive role, but it cannot be ruled out that in the future the nuclear program will also be used for offensive purposes. In addition, their existence increases the risk of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in East Asia.

Everyone Wins: Russia, China, and the Trump-Kim Summit

The summit of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore brought the Korean peninsula closer to peace, but it was more about symbolism than substance. Its most important outcome is to bring North Korea out of diplomatic isolation—something that is welcome to both China and Russia.

The Real Story of North Korean Labor Camps in Russia

The U.S. State Department’s effort to portray North Korean migrant labor in Russia as slavery is misguided; working abroad is one of the only ways for North Koreans to climb the social ladder and provide their families with a modicum of financial stability.

Moscow-Pyongyang: One Year of a New Friendship

This year media publications, state visits, and lofty declarations implied an unprecedented boom in Russian-North Korean relations. However, official 2014 statistics paint a different picture

How Corruption Saved the North Koreans

In recent years, North Korea has transformed from one of the least to one of the most corrupt countries in East Asia. But this has been a blessing for its people, both politically and economically

Why Kim Jong-un Is More Bloodthirsty Than His Father and Grandfather

Under Kim Jong-un, the repressions against the North Korean elite have reached unprecedented levels since the times of the inter-faction strife of the 1950’s. Such methods of shoring up one’s power may backfire

Why Kim Jong-un Had Second Thoughts About His Trip to Moscow’s Victory Day Parade

Kim Jong-un eagerly and easily communicates with foreigners, but at the same time avoids meeting foreign heads of state. After three years in power he has never once met with a single one of his foreign colleagues.

Will the Iranian Solution Work for the North Korean Nuclear Problem?

Unlike Tehran, Pyongyang fears external threats more than internal ones and may at most agree to freeze its nuclear program. Though this scenario is arguably the best one imaginable, political considerations in Washington make it all but impossible.
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