Russia Effectively Supports North Korea in Its Standoff With the US | Jamestown

Putin seems to be, in effect, rooting for Pyongyang by advocating a solution of the Korean nuclear crisis on their terms. Seemingly still fixated on the plight of Saddam and Qaddafi, Putin is apparently afraid the US and the West may be conspiring to destroy him personally, right after removing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Putin’s emotional self-identification with Kim, the dead dictators of Iraq and Libya, and possibly Bashar al-Assad of Syria appears to be driving Russian foreign and domestic decision-making. Putin’s formula for solving the Korean nuclear problem by appeasement, investment, cooperation and removal of sanctions with little if any preconditions is exactly how Moscow wants itself to be treated by the West. In the Kremlin’s view, the West must accept the annexation of Crimea, Moscow’s domination of Ukraine, and Russian military build-up, while providing investment, technology and cooperation. If Putin indeed self-identifies with Kim, securing Russian cooperation on North Korea will be an uphill battle.

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Russia Effectively Supports North Korea in Its Standoff With the US | Jamestown