Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and North Korean Nuclear and Missile Issue

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-1-18-24

V. Mikheev (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation,
Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, 36, Stremyannyi Per., Moscow, 115054, Russian Federation;
S. Ignat’ev (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea is not going to discuss its nuclear program and is seeking recognition of its de-facto nuclear status. Given that both Russia and China are two responsible nuclear powers, Russian and Chinese positions on the issue are absolutely similar – nuclear North Korea is unacceptable. In terms of security, the DPRK which poses nuclear arsenal should be seen as a threat to the territories of both countries. Nevertheless, Moscow does not fully assess the security risks from Pyongyang because Northeast Asia issues are not in the Russia’s foreign policy focus. The lack of economic interests in the DPRK and the deterioration of U.S. – Russian relations also have a significant impact on the formation of Russia’s policy in the North Korean direction. China, in its turn, considers the following security risks from Pyongyang’s activities. First of all, it is a threat of radiation to the northeast of China in the case of next nuclear test. The second one is a possibility of political-military destabilizing in North-East Asia. And finally, it is the deteriorating of U.S. – Chinese relations, which will negatively affect both the Chinese economy and China’s plans to become a world leadership. With regard to the Korean peninsula, in the near future, the positions of Russia and China will increasingly diverge. On this issue, unlike Moscow, Beijing will combine sanctions and pressure tools, as well as opportunities for dialogue with Pyongyang. China’s unwillingness to cooperate actively within the framework of the five-party talks (China, Russia, the United States, South Korea and Japan without the DPRK) is only expanding the field for maneuvering for the North Korean regime. The disarmament of North Korea should be considered as an opportunity for cooperation between the five abovementioned countries whose security interests in North-East Asia are converged. 

Keywords: nuclear and missile issue, North Korea, strategic partnership, Korean Peninsula, denuclearization 


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For citation:
Mikheev V., Ignatev S. Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and North Korean Nuclear and Missile Issue. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 18-24.

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