Russia to gain profit from cooperation with North Korea, despite USA's concerns

Pyongyang obviously uses the alleged development of nuclear arms as a method of blackmail against the USA

Serious political analysts and common reporters forget to mention in their reports about the need to resume six-sided talks with North Korea that there can be three, not six, basic approaches distinguished regarding the issue of North Korea's alleged violation of the non-proliferation of nuclear arms. One may come to such a conclusion on the base of recent news from North Korea. It is noteworthy that those approaches are based on economic reasons too.

The first approach obviously does not have anything to do with economic grounds. It is the opinion of the White House, which seems to be seriously concerned about the USA's security. Everything is clear in this case: the US administration wants to do its best not to allow North Korea develop a nuclear program. The Pyongyang authorities, however, have certain reasons to be uncompromising – this is a natural reaction to the USA's stance. However, one may trace certain economic reasons here.

It is easy to understand the point of view of four other negotiators, who actually play the role of mediators between N.Korea and the USA: they have an opportunity to receive dividend from the “beginning” of the North Korean economy. The central objective of the six-sided talks between Russia, China, Japan and South Korea (plus the USA and North Korea) is the prevention of war. The four states have very good chances to gain profit from the economic cooperation with Pyongyang, if they try to understand the viewpoint of North Korean diplomats. Russian, Chinese, Japanese and South Korean politicians apparently underestimate such an opportunity.

One may notice several examples of the economic cooperation presently. N.Korean workers have already managed to find their demand in Russia's Far East owing to their low payment requirements and high-quality work. South Korean businessmen are currently taking an active part in developing the industrial complex in the area of the N.Korean city of Kaesong. Japan might be interested in the agricultural production of North Korea, whereas China already deals with North Korea's 30 percent of export and almost 40 percent of import.

It is an open secret that Pyongyang uses the alleged creation of nuclear arms as a method of blackmail. However, it only seems to be North Korea's reaction to the unfair game of the USA. The American administration promised to assist in the development of the energetic system of North Korea and provide the country with food supplies. The USA has not kept its promise, though. Furthermore, the USA has cut its investments in the UN's international food program. The UN was forced to shut down its projects in North Korea because of the scanty funding, although the projects were originally aimed to save 6.5 million people from hunger.

Russia, Japan, South Korea and China could use the situation and help the poverty-ridden North Korean nation. The international assistance is highly important at present moment, especially when the N.Korean government has officially acknowledged an outbreak of the so-called bird flu in the country. The food situation in the north of the Korean Peninsula might considerably worsen. To crown it all, the N.Korean treasury might lose the profit from export deliveries of poultry to Japan, for instance.

In addition to purely humanitarian aspects, such assistance could probably result in a more compromising stance of the N.Korean administration. The US government would therefore have fewer reasons to conduct an aggressive political course against North Korea.

As long as the N.Korean economy is becoming more transparent to the world, the states, which decide to help the nation during the moment of hardship, will be able to use North Korea's gratitude in return. Russia may find itself among such winners too.

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Author`s name Olga Savka