Abstract. This article comprehensively examines Russia’s foreign policy with respect to the Korean Peninsula. This article is relevant because of the unsettled problems on the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear problem, and the peninsula’s geographical proximity to the Russian Far East, whose development is a priority task for Russia in the 21st century. Russia is interested in peace on the Korean Peninsula, its denuclearization, and the development of multilateral economic cooperation there. In principle, Russia would not object to the reunification of Korea, provided that the unification process takes place peacefully, in conditions of social stability, and does not provoke serious conflicts among the regional powers. However, Russia is not ready to take any active steps toward achieving the unification of Korea. The reasons are Russia’s unwillingness to aggravate existing tensions, to irritate friendly China, and (especially important in the context of the growing confrontation with the US) to exclude the DPRK as a potential partner in this confrontation. Russia prioritizes the format of the six-party talks for a comprehensive settlement of the Korean crisis in the context of reformatting the security architecture in Northeast Asia. It is unlikely that Russia’s proposals will be implemented in the medium or long term, since, first, the DPRK prefers to discuss its nuclear program directly with the United States, and second, the US is seeking to strengthen the existing security structure in the region based on bilateral alliances. The current acute confrontation between Russia and the US, as well as between the US and China, makes it practically unrealistic to create a united front on the Korean situation in order to achieve the denuclearization of the DPRK. The authors believe that resolving the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula without direct Russian involvement would be more profitable for Russia than preserving the status quo, with the DPRK continuing to build up its nuclear missile potential and with no opportunities for Russia to implement economic projects on the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean Peninsula has traditionally been an important part of Russia’s foreign policy strategy due to the peninsula’s geographical proximity to the Russian Far East and its geopolitical position in the world. The situation on the Korean Peninsula directly impacts the security of the Russian Far East and Northeast Asia (NEA) as a whole, so the peninsula is naturally a top priority in Russian foreign policy.
Now, three years after the first ever summit talks between the leaders of the US and the DPRK in June 2018, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has not undergone any qualitative changes. The negotiating parties have failed to agree on the methods and sequence of the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization and on establishing mutual diplomatic relations. Nor has any progress been made on resuming inter-Korean economic projects and officially ending the Korean War by replacing the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty.
The new US presidential administration headed by Joe Biden, in power since 2021, has signaled its readiness to interact diplomatically with Pyongyang for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. At the same time, Washington is oriented toward deterrence against the DPRK, including deterrence by nuclear forces and economic sanctions, and toward strengthening trilateral American-South Korean-Japanese solidarity on the denuclearization of the DPRK. Thus, it is pertinent to analyze the Russian government’s stance on the current situation and Russia’s official approaches to solving problems of the Korean Peninsula. That is the purpose of this study.
The Korean Peninsula and Russia’s Foreign Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region
Russia has two main interests with respect to the Korean Peninsula, which have been repeatedly stated by Russian officials. First, Russia is not interested in the appearance of weapons of mass destruction anywhere in the world, least of all near its borders. Therefore, Russia consistently adheres to the position of preserving the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, including preventing any nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Second, Russia fears an outbreak of hostilities in Korea. And there are grounds for that. Such a war would be a real disaster near Russian borders; it would be fraught with radioactive contamination of the environment and streams of refugees flowing to the Russian Far East. That would considerably complicate the implementation of Russia’s strategy for developing its Far East.
Russia’s policy with respect to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia cannot be understood in isolation from Russia’s general strategy in Asia and, in particular, from the Russian “pivot to Asia.”1 As part of strengthening the Asian orientation in its foreign policy activity, Russia seeks to enhance its presence in the Asia-Pacific. In addition, as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister I.V. Morgulov puts it, “Russia is not busy making the ‘power balance’ favorable for itself, but is shifting its focus toward developing a system of interstate relations in the region that would become a guarantee for stability and common well-being.”2
In 2013, Russia initiated a dialogue on regional security architecture under the auspices of the East Asia Summit (EAS) and has been working on the EAS platform ever since to improve the security architecture in the region.3 Russia is understandably worried that the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula is being used to build up the military activities of countries in the region and the US, and is leading to a strengthening of the arms race. That trend is considered a threat to Russia’s security. Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov says that one manifestation of that threat is “US plans to deploy in Japan and the Republic of Korea antimissile defense systems and land-based short-and intermediate-range missile launchers previously banned under the agreement now destroyed by Americans.”4
In Moscow’s opinion, Russia encounters attempts by its ill-wishers to keep it “out of regional projects, to sideline Russia from participating in the formation of the regional architecture, which is well under way,”5 and Russia consistently advocates a comprehensive solution of Korean Peninsula problems, including the nuclear problem, through diplomatic means on a multilateral basis in the format of the six-party talks, which suits Russia’s interests to the fullest extent, as many Russian experts specializing in Korean affairs believe.6
North Korea in the System of Russia’s Priorities in the Region, and Russia’s Attitude Toward the Reunification of Korea
Both Korean states are extremely important to Russia. They are an integral part of East Asia, and cooperation with East Asian countries is necessary for our state in order to accomplish one of its strategic tasks – the development of Russia’s Asian areas. The Korean states are located near Russia’s borders and play an important role in the geopolitical balance of power in the region. Finally, the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula (NPKP) is one of the key problems of global politics, and Russia plays an important role in seeking approaches to solving it. Thus, Russia considers it necessary to pursue a balanced and unbiased good-neighbor policy toward both Korean states.7
As for the possible unification of Korea, Russia’s official standpoint consists in supporting the creation of a unified democratic Korea, while the unification scenario and the way unification would proceed should be decided by Koreans themselves.8 That official standpoint was perhaps expressed most clearly in 2011 by K.V. Vnukov, the Russian ambassador to South Korea at the time: “The fact is that the situation on the Korean Peninsula directly influences the safety of Russian citizens living in neighboring areas of the Russian Far East and plans for the rapid large-scale development of those Russian territories. Incidentally, from this viewpoint, the future creation of a unified democratic Korea that is prosperous and friendly toward Russia fully reflects Russia’s political and economic interests.”9
Russian authorities proceed from the assumption that the unification of Korea must take place peacefully, without destructive repercussions and with due regard for the interests of both Korean states, which are UN member countries.10 For Russia, the preservation of peace and stability are prerequisites for a possible unification of Korea.11
In the authors’ opinion, both the Korean nation and Russia would win only if the Stalinesque totalitarian relic that has turned into a hereditary monarchy and has survived in North Korea by an ironic twist of history disappears, whether due to international pressure or internal reasons. Unified Korea would be a much larger and, consequently, more independent country, because the main threat to its security would disappear and alliance with the US would not be as important as before (although there is a chance it would be preserved because of the Chinese factor). Russia would be able to develop trade and economic cooperation with it without fear of nuclear disasters, just as Russia is now interacting with South Korea – one of its main Asian partners. This would be important both in itself and from the viewpoint of the need to diversify cooperation in East Asia in order to abandon excessive economic dependence on powerful China.
In addition, Russian policy toward the DPRK and RK proceeds from the realities of life – i.e., the preservation of both Korean states in the foreseeable future.12 Most Russian experts think that the unification of Korea is a remote possibility. First, both the South Korean and North Korean leadership use nationalist slogans in their propaganda in order to achieve tactical goals, mostly in the realm of domestic policy. But in fact, both Seoul and Pyongyang fear unification because of its economic and social consequences.13 Second, attention is drawn to the fact that China, as Russia’s main partner in the region, would hardly like to lose a “socialist” ally and get instead a rather powerful economic and geopolitical competitor14 that has possibly retained allied relations with the US. In addition, most Russian experts on Korea firmly believe in the strength of the North Korean regime – the main factors of its strength being the North Korean leadership’s unity on key foreign and domestic policy issues, as well as China’s stabilizing role.15
In these conditions, the Russian approach is that it is necessary to resolve Pyongyang’s concerns about security and threats to the country’s sovereignty and help put an end to the DPRK’s international isolation, which will create preconditions for domestic economic and political changes. Russia does not support political regime change in the DPRK and expresses understanding of Pyongyang’s concerns. In July 2019, V.V. Putin stated that “it is necessary to respect North Korea’s legitimate concerns about ensuring its security.”16 A.I. Matsegora, the Russian Ambassador to the DPRK, explained that the difference between the Russian approach and the American one is that the Americans think that the North Korean nuclear missile problem can be solved by “strangling” the DPRK economically and changing its political system. He stressed that while Washington is pursing the goal of removing Kim Jong-un’s political regime, Moscow takes a different path.17
Russia’s relatively soft policy toward the DPRK stems from the following: First, it is not beneficial to Russia to have an unstable situation on its eastern border. Second, in government circles and among experts, there is an ingrained conviction that it is important for Russia to maintain good relations with the leadership of the DPRK.18 This enables Russia to play a more significant role in the Korean settlement process and provides an opportunity for it to participate in building up the security system in Northeast Asia. Third, Russia is interested in implementing trilateral economic projects in the Russia-DPRK-RK format, which would aid the development of the Russian Far East and increase Russia’s involvement in economic ties in the Asia-Pacific.
In addition, one factor influencing Russia’s policy toward the DPRK is the presence of a common political opponent on the international arena – the US – as well as the factor of China, because strategic ties with China have reached a new high level of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction.19 Thus, each period of worsening relations with the West has enhanced, as a rule, the importance of the DPRK in Russian foreign policy considerations and been accompanied by a warming of relations between Moscow and Pyongyang.20 In recent years, which have seen an intensification of the anti-Russian policy of the US and the West as a whole, the positions of those in Russia who think that, in these conditions, the role of North Korea as a partner in the geopolitical confrontation with the US is growing, are being consolidated and strengthened. Earlier, this policy was pursued mainly by Russian communists and their followers for ideological reasons, but after the West introduced anti-Russian sanctions, this idea started gaining growing support from more and more influential experts on Korea.21
The factor of China, on one hand, also contributes to the strengthening of Russia-North Korea relations. The DPRK holds great importance for Russia because it gives Russia an additional opportunity to diversify its foreign policy in Asia. This will enable Russia to act more independently within the Russia-DPRK-China triangle, as well as with other participants in the Korean settlement process. Therefore, it is beneficial to Russia to balance the Chinese influence in North Korea. On the other hand, if rapprochement with Beijing is enhanced and confrontation with the US and the West continues, Russia may face limits on its opportunities to maneuver on the issue of Korea, because it would be forced to take into account the basic security interests of China, whose influence on the peninsula is much greater than Russia’s.22
Some authors believe that even now Russia is often compelled to adhere to Chinese policy toward the Korean Peninsula.23 The fact that Russia started coordinating its North Korea policy more closely with China’s actions and intentions has become especially evident since the start of the Ukraine crisis. In particular, China and Russia have advanced joint proposals regarding a settlement on the Korean Peninsula – for instance, the “road map” (2017) and the Russian-Chinese “plan of actions” (2019).
Moreover, it is more important to Russia, in principle, to preserve the nuclear nonproliferation regime and prevent an increase in the number of nuclear powers. Russia’s position with respect to the NPKP remains consistent and straightforward: “Russia invariably advocates the nonnuclear status of the Korean Peninsula and will in every possible way contribute to its denuclearization….”24 On May 15, 2017, during his visit to Beijing, President Putin confirmed that “we are adamantly opposed to any expansion of the nuclear club membership, also on account of the Korean Peninsula, on account of North Korea…. We are against it and we consider it to be counterproductive, detrimental, and dangerous.”25 It is apparent that this issue is still on the Russian diplomatic agenda, even after the aggravation of relations with the US. This is connected to the following factors.
First, Russia, as one of the most influential members of the nuclear club and a major world power, bears special responsibility for maintaining international security and resists any attempts to undermine that security through the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Second, Moscow understands quite well that countries that acquire or can acquire nuclear weapons, primarily Iran and North Korea, are Russia’s neighbors, and their joining of the nuclear club would pose a direct threat to Russian territory. Third, considering the relative reduction of the capacities of Russia’s conventional weapons compared to the USSR’s in the Soviet period, nuclear weapons are becoming an increasingly important deterrent. Moreover, amid its declining – compared to the Soviet period – economic and political influence, nuclear parity with the US remains the only superpower characteristic that places Moscow on a par with Washington. The proliferation of nuclear weapons and the recognition of the DPRK’s nuclear status could trigger a chain reaction in the region that would considerably degrade the role and influence of Russia in the world.
Russia’s Approach to the Settlement of the Korean Nuclear Issue
Moscow is inclined to place responsibility on both Pyongyang and Washington for the emergence of the nuclear problem and its subsequent aggravation. Russia proceeds from the need to adhere to the cornerstone principle of common and indivisible security – one must not build up its own security to the detriment of its neighbors’ security. This refers to both the US and the DPRK. On one hand, in Moscow’s opinion, the US, together with South Korea, conducts military exercises, and the US often does not even conceal its ultimate goal – the elimination of the DPRK’s political system, which is tantamount to the elimination of North Korea’s statehood. Moreover, the US uses the DPRK nuclear problem as a pretext for building up military infrastructure in the region, which provokes a hard-line response from Pyongyang. On the other hand, the DPRK’s acquisition of nuclear capabilities, according to Matsegora, has made the situation in the region far more dangerous.26 Russia resolutely condemns the testing of nuclear devices and launches of ballistic missiles by the DPRK, while pointing out that “Pyongyang’s nuclear missile program is a flagrant violation of the UN Security Council’s resolution, undermines the nonproliferation regime, and creates a threat to security in Northeast Asia.”27
Moscow advocates settling the whole set of problems of the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear problem, exclusively in a peaceful political and diplomatic way. The Russian leadership has repeatedly declared that on the nuclear missile problem, there is no alternative to negotiations. Therefore, Russia has welcomed a decrease in confrontation and supported the intensification and development of dialogue between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, as well as between the DPRK and the US in 2018 and 2019.28
On the whole, Russia’s role in the Korean settlement process is proportionate to its capabilities and limitations. It intends to position itself as an impartial, unbiased, well-informed participant in the settlement of the situation on the peninsula. Moscow states that it firmly implements its international obligations pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions establishing an international sanctions regime with respect to the DPRK in connection with the development of the latest nuclear missile program. Russian diplomats are in constant contact with all involved parties, including the US and the DPRK. In April 2019, Putin had a meeting in Vladivostok with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that was assessed by many as confirmation of Russia’s significant role in addressing Korean problems. At the same time, Russia contributes, to the extent possible, to the economic development of the DPRK in the framework of limitations imposed by the international community and in accordance with its own interests.29
The Russian leadership does not doubt the need for pressure in response to North Korea’s desire to possess nuclear weapons, but it is convinced that it is impossible to solve the problems of the Korean Peninsula exclusively through the use of sanctions and pressure.30 At the same time, Russia attempts to make such pressure “commensurate with the behavior of North Korea.”31 Thus, Russia favors a stepwise, gradual alleviation of international sanctions imposed on the DPRK in proportion to its steps to abandon its nuclear missile program. In Moscow’s view, Pyongyang’s steps toward denuclearization since early 2018 are sufficient for removing some of the limitations that have been imposed on the DPRK. In addition, Russia opposes the unilateral and secondary sanctions implemented by the US and its allies.32
Russia expresses understanding of the motives of Pyongyang, which has refused to conduct negotiations until the US changes its approach of “getting everything all at once” without any concessions on its part, but calls for the resumption of talks.33 Moscow is convinced that achieving success both in American-DPRK negotiations and in settling the whole set of problems of the Korean Peninsula is possible “exclusively on the basis of reciprocity – action for action, on a step-by-step basis, gradually, consecutively.”34 This approach has been embodied both in the road map presented by Russia and China in 2017, and in the Russian-Chinese plan of actions put forward in 2019. The plan of actions comprises “prospective joint steps of the involved countries in four main dimensions: military, political, economic, and humanitarian,” including the gradual lifting of the sanctions pressure on the DPRK. As part of that process, as Lavrov has emphasized, such steps “could be taken simultaneously, in parallel, in order to achieve progress on solving certain problems without linking them artificially to one another.”35 These proposals do not correlate with the position of the US, which insists on complete, verified, and irreversible denuclearization of the DPRK as a precondition for the lifting of sanctions. However, such logic by the US is, in Moscow’s view, “absolutely untenable, and the meeting in Hanoi has confirmed this fact.”36
After the American-North Korean negotiation process came to a standstill over differences in the parties’ visions of the mechanism and sequence of mutual steps,37 Russia, wishing to break the deadlock, made a statement on the need to create conditions for transitioning to the conclusive, third stage of the Russian-Chinese road map: “resuming multilateral interaction aimed at settling the whole set of problems of the Korean Peninsula.”38
While not opposing direct negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington, Moscow places special emphasis on the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, and the importance of the talks should be considered in the context of Russia’s general policy in Asia. From Russia’s viewpoint, the Korean Peninsula nuclear problem should be addressed in the context of solving security problems in NEA and taking into account the interests of all involved countries.39 Moscow believes that American promises alone cannot guarantee the security of the DPRK and peace on the Korean Peninsula, an example of which is considered to be the accords as part of the 1994 framework agreement between the DPRK and the US that the US did not implement.40
While assessing the potential viability of the six-party talks for settling the Korean crisis in the context of reformatting the security architecture in the region, it is worth noting that Russia’s proposals can hardly be implemented in the medium or long term, since the necessary prerequisites for that have not yet developed. The DPRK prefers to discuss its nuclear program directly with the US. The US, for its part, intends to strengthen the existing security structure in the region41 based on bilateral unions while supposing that the Russian initiative would lead to the weakening of US positions in the region.42
Of course, Russia understands the impossibility of implementing that format in the current conditions. Rather, Moscow’s adherence to the six-party talks on the NPKP is, on one hand, evidence of Moscow’s dissatisfaction with the existing security system in the region and orientation toward reformatting the system, and on the other, recognition of the fact that the status quo on the Korean Peninsula, the peculiar “confrontation stability,” is considered to be the best of the bad scenarios in the near future.43
At the same time, we believe that it is more important for Russia to obtain the result – the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula – than to attain the format in which denuclearization will be carried out. The settlement of the nuclear issue and the establishment of official peace on the Korean Peninsula, whether in a bilateral or quadrilateral format, does not contradict Russian interests. That position was practically expressed by Moscow officially when Moscow welcomed twice, in 2018 and 2019, the meetings of the US and the DPRK leaders. It commented that “the normalization of American-North Korean relations that the parties aspire to, as expressed in their resulting joint statement, is an integral part of the package settlement of the problems of the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear problem.”44 At the same time, it called for consolidation of the multilateral nature of the political negotiation process.45
Russia will certainly not be left out of the picture in settling the situation on the Korean Peninsula – “in the first place, in view of the peninsula’s proximity to our borders.”46 In fact, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, one of the initiators and depository states of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and a country with reasonably good relations with both Pyongyang and Seoul, Russia cannot be excluded from the Korea settlement process. In addition, trilateral economic cooperation of Russia with two Koreas would not only remain attractive and desirable for all three countries after the solution of the nuclear problem, but would at last become possible.
Thus, in this situation, Russia’s top priority must be the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which may be implemented even without reformatting the security system in East Asia. At the same time, denuclearization is possible only if powerful joint pressure is exerted on the DPRK by all five countries (the US, China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan) and if Washington takes a more workable and pragmatic approach toward achieving that goal. Amid the current extreme confrontation between Russia and the US, as well as between the US and China, it is hardly possible to create a “united front” around Korea. Thus, it seems expedient and promising to implement O.V. Davydov’s idea of creating a permanent consultative mechanism of the five countries (Russia, China, the US, South Korea, Japan) to enhance trust and interaction on the North Korean nuclear missile problem.47
Prospects of Inter-Korean and Multilateral Economic Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula and Russia’s Role
The normalization of relations between the Koreas in early 2018 and the signing by the DPRK and RK of the Panmunjom and Pyongyang declarations brought some faltering hope for the possibility of revitalizing various economic cooperation formats on the Korean Peninsula – in particular, hope for the resumed functioning of crucial inter-Korean economic projects (Kaesong Industrial Zone, travel packages to the Kumgangsan Mountains), as well as connecting South Korea to the Russian-North Korean Khasan-Rajin project. The latter project envisages the delivery of freight by rail from Russia to the North Korean seaport town of Rajin with subsequent transport by sea to ports of the Republic of Korea or other countries. However, after almost four years of expectations after the events of 2018, neither inter-Korean, nor multilateral cooperation has started on the peninsula. The main impediment here is the international sanctions regime on the DPRK. The principle of linking inter-Korean economic cooperation to the issue of the denuclearization of the DPRK, still observed in practice, negatively affects the prospects for inter-Korean relations. The irresoluteness of Moon Jae-in’s administration has prevented the launch of practical implementation of economic cooperation between the two Koreas using the Sunshine Policy ideas and the existing inter-Korean basis for negotiations. The Inter-Korean crisis of June 2020 demonstrated the fragility of the inter-Korean dialogue and revealed the artificial nature of the normalization of bilateral relations in the absence of substantial support for inter-Korean cooperation.48
Russia is convinced that inter-Korean political dialogue and economic cooperation are essential prerequisites for establishing peace, stability, and security in NEA. In view of this, Russia has expressed and still expresses its interest in and support of promoting cooperation between the DPRK and the RK and implementing trilateral projects in the Russia-DPRK-RK format. Russia considers the process of involving the DPRK in international economic cooperation, also in the trilateral format (Russia-DPRK-RK), “an important stabilizing factor contributing to strengthening trust between North Korea and South Korea and creating a favorable atmosphere for the invigoration of inter-Korean dialogue.”49
Over the past 30 years, trilateral cooperation issues have repeatedly been raised by representatives of Russia, the RK, and the DPRK at the highest level. In particular, discussions have been held on the possibilities of implementing large-scale projects, such as connecting the Trans-Korean Trunk Railroad with the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and laying a gas pipeline and building an electricity transmission line from Russia through the DPRK to the RK. In addition, an in-depth study was done on establishing territories of priority socioeconomic development in the Russian Far East and in the DPRK in a trilateral format, with the participation of Russia, the DPRK, and the RK.50
There is considerable potential for cooperation among the three countries in wider formats, too, including cooperation involving China.51 There are proposals about North Korean participation in The Extended Tumangan Initiative (ETI) for creating a transportation ring that would include Rajin, Hunchun, and several zones in Primorye Territory.52 In particular, the issue of involving the DPRK in Far Eastern railroad infrastructure development projects was discussed at a session of the Extended Tumangan Initiative Council in 2015.53 While taking into account the cost of restoring the railroad tracks in North Korea, a return of the DPRK to the ETI would be an optimal solution.
But the lack of suitable political conditions on the peninsula, distrust and animosity between the DPRK and the RK, as well as Washington’s suppression of Seoul’s intentions to develop relations with Pyongyang made it impossible to put the plans into practice. In addition, the idea of trilateral cooperation with the participation of Russia and the two Koreas is still relevant. In an interview with the TASS news agency in December 2018, A.B. Kulik, the Russian ambassador to the Republic of Korea, confirmed Russia’s interest “in implementing trilateral economic projects with the participation of Russia, the RK, and the DPRK on transportation, logistics, gas, and electric power supply.” Kulik commented that “successful implementation of the projects would not only bring considerable profit to member states, but also contribute considerably to the development of inter-Korean relations and the consolidation of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia as a whole.”54 During a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in September 2018, Putin proposed starting immediately implementing the project of a power supernetwork in Northeast Asia with the participation of the DPRK, among other countries.55
In the short term, the most realistic opportunity appears to be the Khasan-Rajin project. First, it has been developed to a very advanced stage and is ready for use. From 2008 to 2014, a joint Russian-North Korean venture with the participation of Russian Railways reconstructed the railroad from the Khasan station (Russia) to the Rajin seaport (DPRK), and the total sum of investments was 10.6 billion rubles. In 2014, a railroad terminal was opened at the Rajin seaport. As part of a pilot project, the transport of Russian coal to South Korea by sea started from there. However, soon afterward, exports from Russia stopped because of sanctions against the DPRK,56 but they could be resumed at any moment. At the same time, a project to build a railroad along the eastern coast of the DPRK would require large investments on the order of several billion dollars, and it would be difficult to find such investments given the international sanctions on the DPRK and the political risks.57 Second, thanks to Russia’s efforts, international sanctions on the Khasan-Rajin project have been lifted.58
The launch of the Khasan-Rajin project is hampered by unilateral South Korean sanctions on the DPRK that prohibit North Korean ships from calling at South Korean ports, and the same prohibition concerns foreign vessels that have visited North Korean ports before.59 As Kulik has stressed, “the repeal of namely the South Korean unilateral restrictions could become a powerful positive impetus for the DPRK.”60 The absence of adequate actions on the part of the South Korean partners raises questions about the possibility of implementing trilateral economic projects without “green lights” from the US in the present period. In particular, during the press conference in Vladivostok, Putin pointed out that “this would also be in the interests of South Korea, but there is evidently a lack of sovereignty there in the process of making final decisions.”61
Considerable problems are also created by American secondary sanctions. And although it is more profitable for Russian coal companies to export coal through the DPRK than through Russian seaports, the Russian coal industry, according to Matsegora, “is not ready to risk its billions in assets incorporated in the US for the sake of getting several million dollars through operations in the DPRK.”62 Moscow is counting on the restoration of mutual trust between the Korean states and hopes that they will conduct a more active and independent policy on trilateral economic cooperation.63
* * *
Russia is interested in the peaceful development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, its denuclearization, and multilateral economic cooperation on its territory. In our opinion, Russia would not object to the unification of Korea on the condition that the unification process would take place peacefully, in an atmosphere of social stability, and would not lead to serious conflicts among the regional powers. However, Russia is not ready to take any active steps to achieve the unification of Korea. The reasons are Russia’s unwillingness to aggravate existing tensions, to irritate friendly China, and (especially important in the context of the growing confrontation with the US) to exclude the DPRK as a potential partner in this confrontation.
While advocating the development of economic ties on the Korean Peninsula and the involvement of the DPRK in international economic cooperation, Russia will support any format of inter-Korean and multilateral economic cooperation. At the same time, according to the Kremlin’s intentions, the development of economic relations should take place gradually and in parallel with steps taken in three other main areas – military, political, and humanitarian – as stipulated by the Russian-Chinese plan of actions, “without linking them artificially to one another.”64 In Russia’s view, putting forward denuclearization as a prerequisite for developing regional economic cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, in particular for creating an inter-Korean economic zone, appears to be counterproductive.
Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in 2018, Russian President Putin confirmed that there is no alternative to Russia’s “pivot to Asia” and stressed that for Russia, the development of the Russian Far East is an absolute top priority; it is a consistent and long-term policy.65 Therefore Russia, which like no other country is interested in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, while respecting the sovereignty and interests of all involved states, strives to address the problems of the peninsula, including the nuclear problem, exclusively through peaceful, political, and diplomatic methods.
Russia, as Morgulov pointed out, “counts on enhancing interconnected relations both within the region and among regions and promotes the philosophy of the indivisibility of economic development, and this philosophy forms the foundation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership proposed by President Putin.”66 It appears that providing an opening for the Republic of Korea into Eurasian integration processes and projects, thus getting access to the continent’s economy, serves the interests of South Korean inroads into Eurasia, whether that be as part of the Eurasian initiative of former RK president Park Geun-hye, or according to the New Northern Policy launched by incumbent RK President Moon Jae-in, or any other similar strategies (with their variations) of future presidents. At the same time, it is evident that no such plan can be implemented without the participation of the DPRK in regional integration processes. As Alexander Zhebin, a Russian expert on Korea, rightly points out, without connecting the trans-Korean railroad with the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the RK remains, in practice, “an island in Northeast Asia.”67 Likewise, North Korea’s comprehensive integration into the global economy is possible only if the North Korean leadership pursues an irreversible policy and takes real steps toward complete denuclearization.
1. A.V. Lukin, Pivot to Asia: Russia’s Foreign Policy Enters the 21st Century. Vij Books India Pvt ltd, New Delhi, 2017.
2. I. Morgulov, Russia’s Eastern Policy in 2016: Results and Prospects, Mezhdunarodnaya zhizn’ (International Affairs), # 2, 2017. URL: https://interaffairs.ru/jauthor/material/1799 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
3. Interview given by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister I.V. Morgulov to the Interfax news agency and published on December 14, 2018. MFA of RF: [site], URL: https://www.mid.ru/web/guest/asean/-/asset_publisher/0vP3hQoCPRg5/content/id/3443135?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_0vP3hQoCPRg5&_101_INSTANCE_0vP3hQoCPRg5_languageId=ru_RU (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
4. Speech and answers to questions from the mass media given by Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov during a press conference on the results of Russian diplomatic activities in 2020, Moscow, January 18, 2021. MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/internationalsafety/regprla/-/asset_publisher/YCxLFJnKuDlW/content/id/4527635 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
6. V.I. Denisov, Russia and the Korean Peninsula in the New International Situation, Mezhdunarodnaya analitika (International Analyses.), # 1, 2015, pp. 39-48. DOI: 10.46272/2587-8476-2015-0-1-39-48; G. Toloraya, Korean pacification: what should Russia do? Russian International Affairs Council: [site]. September 24, 2018. URL: https://russiancouncil.ru/analytics-and-comments/analytics/koreyskoe-zamirenie-chto-delat-rossii (Retrieved on November 14, 2021); I.V Dyachkov, Korean Nuclear Problem in 2019: Challenges for the Region and for Russia,
Tambov University Messenger. Series: Humanitarian Sciences, Tambov, Vol. 25, # 184, 2020, pp. 201-208. DOI: 10.20310/1810-0201-2020-25-184-201-208.
7. The Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation (approved by President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin on November 30, 2016), MFA of RF: [site], URL: https://www.mid.ni/foreign_policy/official_documents/-/asset_publisher/CptICkB6BZ29/content/id/2542248 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
8. A.V Lukin, Russia’s Policy in Northeast Asia and the Prospects for Korean Unification, International Journal of Korean Unification Studies, Vol. 26, # 1, 2017, pp. 1-19.
9. Speech of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. K. Vnukov at the Diplomats’ Round Table. May 29, 2011. URL: http://russian-embassy.org/en/?p=591 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
10. V.V. Putin, Interview given to the South Korean TV and radio corporation KBS, Official site of the RF President. November 12, 2013. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/19603 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
11. G.D. Toloraya, Russia and the Issues of Korean Peninsula, MGIMO-University Messenger, Vol. 4, # 37, 2014, 88 pp.
12. A.V. Torkunov, G.D. Toloraya, IV. Dyachkov, Modern Korea. Metamorphoses of the Turbulent Years (2008-2020.). Prosveshcheniye Publishers, Moscow, 2021, pp. 6-7; V.I. Denisov, Russia and Korean Peninsula in the New International Situation, Mezhdunarodnaya analitika (International Analyses), # 1, 2015, pp. 39-48. DOI: 10.46272/2587-8476-2015-0-1-39-48
13. S.V. Khamutayeva, The Problem of Korean Unification in Russian Historiography, Buryat State University Messenger. Philosophy, # 8, 2010, pp. 252-255; A.V. Lukin, Russia’s Korea Policy in the 21st Century, International Journal of Korean Unification Studies, Vol. 18, #2, 2009, pp. 43-46; A. Lan’kov, Pyongyang’s Stalemate: Why North Korea will not Follow China’s Example? Russia in global politics, # 2, 2013, pp. 187-197.
14. Who needs unified Korea? Radio ‘Voice of Russia’: [site]. 08.16.2010. URL: http://rus.ruvr.ru/2010/08/16/15981397/ (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
15. O. Kiryanov, Unification of Korea is beneficial for the neighboring powers, Rossiyskaya gazeta (Russian newspaper.) September 17, 2014. URL: https://rg.ru/2014/09/17/obyedineniye-site.html (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
16. V.V. Putin, Interview given to The Financial Times newspaper, Official site of the President of Russia. June 27, 2019. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
17. Interview given by Russian Ambassador to the DPRK A.I. Matsegora to the Russia Today news agency, April 14, 2017, MFA of RF. URL: https://www.mid.ru/web/guest/nota-bene/-/asset_publisher/dx7DsH1WAM6w/content/id/2729503 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
18. A.V. Torkunov, G.D. Toloraya, I.V. Dyachkov, Modern Korea. Metamorphoses of the Turbulent Years (2008-2020). Prosveshcheniye Publishers, Moscow, 2021, p. 342.
19. A.V. Kortunov, K.A. Kuzmina, D.A. Terkina, Liu Fenghua, Sun Zhuangzhi, Strategic Interaction between Russia and China: Significance and Essence, Russian International Affairs Council, # 28, 2020. URL: https://russiancouncil.ru/papers/Russia-China-Strategic-PolicyBrief28.pdf (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
20. K.V. Asmolov, L.V. Zakharova, Russia’s Relations with the DPRK in the 21st Century: Results of the First 20 Years, Messenger of the Peoples ‘Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) Series: Mezhdunarodniye otnosheniya (International relations), Vol. 20, # 3, 2020, p. 598. DOI: 10.22363/2313-0660-2020-20-3-585-604.
21. A.V. Torkunov, G.D. Toloraya, I.V. Dyachkov, Modern Korea. Metamorphoses of the Turbulent Years (2008-2020.), Prosveshcheniye Publishers, Moscow, 2021, pp. 336-337, 342.
22. A.L. Lukin, Resolving the Nuclear-Missile Crisis on Korean Peninsula: Russia’s Interests and the Prospects for a Multilateral Format, Oriental Institute Review, # 2, 2018, pp. 32-40. DOI: 10.24866/2542-1611/2018-2/32-40
23. O.V. Davydov, The Problems of the Korean Peninsula and Their Prospective Solutions, Russia and the Asia-Pacific, # 3(101), 2018, pp. 68-83. DOI: 10.24411/1026-8804-2018-10034; A. Gabuyev, Bad Cop, Mediator or Spoiler: Russia’s Role on Korean Peninsula, The Moscow Times. April 24, 2019. URL: https://www.memoscowtimes.com/2019/04/24/bad-cop-mediator-or-spoiler-russias-role-on-the-korean-peninsula-a65369 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022); A. Lukin, Russia’s Policy Toward North Korea: Following China’s Lead, 38 North. December 23, 2019. URL: https://www.38north.org/2019/12/alukinl22319 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022); E. Rumer, R. Sokolsky, A. Vladicic, Russia in the Asia-Pacific: Less Than Meets the Eye, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. August 3, 2020. URL: https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/09/03/russiain-asia-pacific-less-than-meets-eye-pub-82614 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
24. The Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (approved by President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin on November 30, 2016), MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/foreign_policy/official_documents/-/asset_publisher/CptICkB6BZ29/content/id/2542248 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
25. V.V. Putin, Answers given to questions from journalists, Official site of the President of Russia. May 15, 2017. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54499 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
26. Interview given by the Russian Ambassador to the DPRK A.I. Matsegora to the Russia Today news agency, April 14, 2017, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/web/guest/nota-bene/-/asset_publisher/dx7DsH1WAM6w/content/id/2729503 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022); Answer given by the spokesperson of the MFA of Russia M.V. Zakharova to a question from the mass media on missile launches of the DPRK, MFA of RF: [site]. March 26, 2021. URL: https://www.mid.ru/web/guest/maps/us/-/asset_publisher/unVXBbj4Z6e8/content/id/4652246 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
27. Press statements on results of talks with the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, Official site of the President of Russia. September 6, 2017. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55541 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
28. MFA of Russia makes a statement about the threat of an ‘apocalyptic’ scenario on the Korean Peninsula, Kommersant, November 27, 2017. URL: https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3479914 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
29. K.V. Asmolov, L.V. Zakharova, Russia’s Relations with the DPRK in the 21st Century: Results of the First 20 Years, Messenger of the Peoples ‘Friendship University of Russia (RUDN.) Series: Mezhdunarodniye otnosheniya (International relations), Vol. 20, # 3, 2020, pp. 585-604. DOI: 10.22363/2313-0660-2020-20-3-585-604
30. Press statements on results of negotiations with the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, Official site of the President of Russia. September 6, 2017. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55541 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
31. K.V. Asmolov, L.V. Zakharova, Russia’s Relations with the DPRK in the 21st Century: Results of the First 20 Years, Messenger of the Peoples ‘Friendship University of Russia (RUDN.) Series: Mezhdunarodniye otnosheniya (International relations), Vol. 20, # 3, 2020, p. 599. DOI: 10.22363/2313-0660-2020-20-3-585-604
32. Interview given by the Russian Ambassador in the DPRK A.I. Matsegora to the Russia Today news agency, April 14, 2017, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/web/guest/nota-bene/-/asset_publisher/dx7DsH1WAM6w/content/id/2729503 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
33. Interview given by Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov of the Russian Federation to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Moscow, September 29, 2020, MFA of RF: [site], https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news//asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4352418?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonk-JE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=ru_RU (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
34. Speech of Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov at the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference on the following topic Foreign policy priorities of the Russian Federation on weapons control and nonproliferation in the context of changes in the global security architecture,’ Moscow, November 8, 2019, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/en/web/guest/organizacia-po-zapreseniu-himiceskogo-oruzia/-/asset_publisher/km9HkaXMTium/content/id/3891674?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_km9HkaXMTium&_101_INSTANCE_km9HkaXMTium_languageId=ru_RU (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
35. Interview given by Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Moscow, September 29, 2020, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ni/en/foreign_policy/news//asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4352418?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=ra_RU (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
36. Speech of Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov at the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference on the following topic ‘Foreign policy priorities of the Russian Federation on weapons control and nonproliferation in the context of changes in the global security architecture,‘ Moscow, November 8, 2019, MFA of RF: [site], URL: https://www.rnid.ru/en/web/guest/organizacia-po-zapreseniu-himiceskogo-oruzia/-/asset_publisher/km9HkaXMTium/content/id/3891674?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_km9HkaXMTium&_101_INSTANCE_km9HkaXMTium_languageId=ru_RU (Retrieved on Febraary 25, 2022.)
37. A.Z. Zhebin, Korea: Denuclearization in Exchange for Normalization? Vostochnaya Aziya: fakty i analitika (East Asia: facts and analyses.), # 1, 2019, pp. 7-14; P. Iskanderov, Russia and North Korea: key points of interaction, Mezhdunarodnaya zhizn’ (International Affairs.) April 26, 2019. URL: https://interaffairs.ru/news/show/22345 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
38. Interview given by Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Moscow, September 29, 2020. MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news//asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4352418?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=ru_RU (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
39. Interview given by the Russian Ambassador to the DPRK A.I. Matsegora to the Russia Today news agency, April 14, 2017, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/web/guest/nota-bene/-/asset_publisher/dx7DsH1WAM6w/content/id/2729503 (Retrieved on Febraary 25, 2022.)
41. G.D. Toloraya, A.V. Torkunov, Nuclear and Missile Threat on the Korean Peninsula: Origins and Response Measures, Polis. Political studies, # 4, 2016, p. 138. DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2016.04.11.
42. Y.V. Morozov, North Korea’s Nuclear Issue and Possible Solutions through the Concerted Efforts of Russia and China, National interests: priorities and security, Vol. 14, # 7, 2018, pp. 1360-1378. DOI: 10.24891M.14.7.1360; Blank S., Russia and the Korean Peace Process. International Journal of Korean Unification Studies, Vol. 27, # 2, 2018, p. 53.
43. “Confrontation stability” means the situation of “neither peace, nor war.” See: A.V. Torkunov, G.D. Toloraya, I.V. Dyachkov, Modern Korea. Metamorphoses of the Turbulent Years (2008-2020.) Prosveshcheniye Publishers, Moscow, 2021, p. 432.
44. Commentary of the Press Service and Information Department of the MFA of Russia in connection with the American-North Korean summit in Singapore, MFA of RF: [site]. June 12, 2018. URL: https://www.mid.ru/ru/maps/kp/-/asset_publisher/VJy7Ig5QaAII/content/id/3256544 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
45. Commentary of the Press Service and Information Department of the MFA of Russia in connection with the American-North Korean summit in Panmunjom, MFA of RF: [site]. July 1, 2019. URL: https://www.mid.ru/ru/maps/kp/-/asset_publisher/VJy7Ig5QaAII/content/id/3707641 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
46. Interview given by Russian Ambassador to the DPRK A.I. Matsegora to the Russia Today news agency, July 18, 2018, MFA of RF: [site]. July 18, 2018. URL: https://www.mid.ru/ru/maps/kp/-/asset_publisher/VJy7Ig5QaAII/content/id/3299386 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
47. O.V. Davydov, North Korean Nuclear Problem: Status, Standoff, Prospective Solutions, Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodniye otnosheniya (World Economy and International Relations), Vol. 62, # 7. 2018, pp. 17-26. DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-7-17-26.
48. O.S. Pugacheva, Inter-Korean Relations: Factors and Prospects, Contours of global transformations: politics, economics, law, # 14(1), 2021, pp. 151-175. DOI: 10.23932/2542-0240-2021-14-1-8.
49. Russia and the settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, MFA of RF: [site]. URL https://www.mid.ru/uregulirovanie-situacii-na-korejskom-poluostrove?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_gqoyX2IJRbtU&_56_INSTANCE_gqoyX2IJRbtU_languageId=en_GB (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
50. Russia-DPRK: new cooperation horizons and prospects of trilateral projects. Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic: [site]. March 4, 2015. URL: https://minvr.gov.ru/press-center/news/1356 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
51. G. Toloraya, Cluster of cooperation among Russia, North Korea and South Korea, Valdai international discussion club. September 12, 2018. URL: https://ru.valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/klaster-sotrudnichestva (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
53. Free port Vladivostok is presented at a session of the Extended Tumangan Initiative Council, Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic: [site]. June 22, 2015. URL: https://minvr.gov.ru/press-center/news/1531/ (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
54. Interview given by the Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea A.B. Kulikto the TASS news agency, December 24, 2018, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3467396 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
55. Plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, Official site of the President of Russia. September 12, 2018. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58537 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
56. South Korean Ambassador: the success of the Khasan-Rajin project is connected to lifting the sanctions against the DPRK, TASS. November 27, 2018. URL: https://tass.ru/ekonomika/5841720 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
57. S. Varivoda, Oriental triangle: what will Russia get from the warming of inter-Korean relations, TASS. June 25, 2018. URL: https://tass.ru/opinions/5320469 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
58. Interview given by the Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea A.B. Kulikto the TASS news agency, December 24, 2018, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3467396 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
59. Mass media: South Korea will prohibit ships sailing from the DPRK from calling at South Korean ports, TASS. February 15, 2016. URL: https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/2667476 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
60. Interview given by the Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea A.B. Kulikto the TASS news agency, December 24, 2018, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3467396 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
61. Press conference on the results of Russian-North Korean negotiations, Official site of the President of Russia. April 25, 2019. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60370 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
62. E. Grigoryeva, Trans-Korea-2020: to be or not to be?, Morskiye vesti Rossiyi (Maritime News of Russia.) October 18, 2018. URL: http://www.morvesti.ru/analitika/1687/74917 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
63. The project of modernizing the Khasan-Rajin railroad needs the restoration of trust between the two Koreas – Trutnev, Novaya perevozochnaya (New haulage.) July 17, 2019. URL: https://npktrans.ru/Doc.aspx?docId=96050&CatalogId=653 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
64. Interview given by Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Moscow, September 29, 2020, MFA of RF. MFA OF RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news//asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4352418?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonk-JE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=ru_RU (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
65. Plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, Official site of the President of Russia. September 12, 2018. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58537 (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
66. Interview given by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister I.V. Morgulov to the Interfax news agency and published on December 14, 2018, MFA of RF: [site]. URL: https://www.mid.ru/web/guest/asean/-/asset_publisher/0vP3hQoCPRg5/content/id/3443135?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_0vP3hQoCPRg5&_101_IN-STANCE_0vP3hQoCPRg5_languageId=ru_RU (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)
67. A. Zhebin, In Search for Denuclearization and Peace in Korea: a View from Russia, Global Peace Foundation. URL: https://www.globalpeace.org/denuclearization-and-peace-korea (Retrieved on February 25, 2022.)