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Russian Nonproliferation Policy and the Korean Peninsula


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Yong-Chool Ha and Beom-Shik Shin

Strategic Studies Institute
December 2006

Yong-Chool Ha is Professor of International Relations at Seoul National University and has served as a visiting professor at both the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and University of California-Berkeley. His research focuses on comparative studies between the Soviet Union, South Korea, Japan, and Prussia during the late industrial period, while he teaches comparative politics of Russia and Korea. Dr. Ha is currently writing a book on the social consequences of state-led industrialization, comparing the four countries mentioned above. His publications include: Economic Reforms in Socialist Countries, co-edited with S. Gomulka and Caeone Kim (1990), The Origins and Development of South Korea's Northern Policy (2003), and The Dynamics of Strong State (2006). Dr. Ha received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California-Berkeley.

Beom-Shik Shin is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Incheon, South Korea. He is also a research member of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Asian Initiatives and a consulting member of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Ministry of Unification of South Korea. Dr. Shin is the Director of the Committee for Foreign Relation of the Korean Association of Slavic Studies. Dr. Shin received his Ph.D. in political science from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

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Russian Nonproliferation Policy and the Korean Peninsula


One of the key challenges of our time is the threat posed to the security of Northeast Asia by North Korea's nuclear proliferation. Efforts to resolve this problem through the medium of a six-party negotiation are proceeding with great difficulty. As in any multilateral process, a major problem is understanding the goals and perspectives of each of the participants. One of those participants is Russia, and this monograph focuses upon Moscow's perspectives with regard to North Korea's nuclear program and Russia's own standing in Northeast Asia. This monograph makes a valuable contribution to the debate or analysis of the difficult issues connected with North Korea's nuclear proliferation because the views of Russia, and of the other participants in those negotiations, unfortunately are not well-known or readily available in the United States.

This monograph by two South Korean experts on Russia was presented at a colloquium jointly sponsored by the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) of the U.S. Army War College; the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington; and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Pacific Northwest Center for Global Studies. Entitled "The U.S. and Russia: Regional Security Issues and Interests," the conference was held in Washington, DC, from April 24-26, 2006. It represents part of SSI's efforts to provide strategic leaders with analysis and background on major trends in international security.

Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr. Director Strategic Studies Institute


Russia is one of the members of the six-party talks on North Korean nuclearization, but its views on how to deal with this problem do not agree with those of the U.S. Government. This signifies a gap between Moscow and Washington over the proper way to deal with proliferation and represents a change from the earlier pattern of bilateral cooperation in 1987-96 that led to significant achievements in the field of arms control and nonproliferation.

We may attribute the major differences between Moscow and Washington to several factors, but two stand out here. One is that Moscow prefers a different model of resolving proliferation issues than Washington apparently does. Moscow's preferred option is the so-called Ukrainian model, whereby the proliferating state is induced to relinquish its pursuit of nuclear weapons through a multilateral negotiation in which it receives both economic compensation and security guarantees from its partners. This is what happened with regard to Ukraine's inheritance of thousands of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) after 1991. The second model, apparently preferred by the United States, is the so-called Libyan model which is based on the experience of unrelenting coercive diplomacy, including sanctions and possible threats of actual coercion, until the proliferating state gives in and renounces nuclear weapons in return for better relations with its interlocutors.

In the case of North Korea, Moscow believes that the Ukrainian model is the way in which the negotiators must proceed if they wish to bring this issue to a successful resolution. Seen from Moscow, the United States appears to be more inclined to choose, instead, the Libyan model based on its policy of threatened regime change, coercion, sanctions, etc. This disparity between Pyongyang's intransigence and America's inclination to coercion, which reinforces the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) stance, is viewed as a major reason for the current stalemate.

The second explanation for the gap between the Russian and American posture on this issue is that Russia has arrived at a definition of its interests in Korea generally, and even more broadly in Northeast Asia, that is premised on a formally equal relationship and engagement with both Korean states, even though obvious economic considerations lead it to be more involved with the Republic of Korea (ROK). This effort to achieve balanced relations also is connected to the idea that such a stance enhances Russia's standing in the Korean question in particular and more generally throughout the region, and the most important goal for Russia is to be recognized as a player with legitimate standing in any resolution of Korean security issues. After that, it is important to prevent a war from breaking out, as well as the nuclearization of the Korean peninsula. And beyond these considerations of status, prestige, security, and interest, comes the fact that Russia wants very much to play a major economic role with both Koreas in regard to transport networks, provision of energy, and overall economic development of both states. Indeed, Russia has offered to provide North Korea with nuclear and other energy sources once it gives up its weapons program as part of a multilateral agreement.

These considerations lead Russia to oppose much of the U.S. position in the six-party talks and to incline towards China and South Korea, which is trying to maintain and extend its sunshine policy towards the DPRK. Taken together, the impact of differing interests and perspectives with regard to the best way to deal with proliferation explains, to a considerable degree, the divergence between the Russian and American positions in these talks, and why Moscow has taken the stands that it has in those negotiations.


Since the end of the Cold War, there have been several significant achievements in international security regarding nonproliferation issues. The Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) system was extended permanently in 1995 and developed into the central form of multilateral cooperation in nuclear security. The most significant achievement of the NPT in the 1990s was that France and China joined the 189 other countries of the world by signing and ratifying the NPT. The impetus that made this possible was the denuclearization of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Of course, such an achievement resulted from cooperation for nonproliferation between Russia and the United States.

Russia not only inherited the Soviet's pro-Western diplomatic strategy and accepted the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II-a new U.S. proposal of nuclear arms control-but also continued to support U.S.-led policies such as economic sanctions on Iraq and NATO's military intervention and arms embargo in Yugoslavia. In its urgent need for the economic reform of the newly established state, Russia pursued an "economic goals oriented diplomacy" designed to get the Western world's economic support and incorporate itself into the international economic society, inevitably leading to the pro-Western foreign policy, with emphasis on the United States.1 It was also necessary that the United States closely cooperate with Russia in the short term by supporting President Boris Yeltsin's transition effort to continue nuclear weapons reduction and nonproliferation and to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet republics.

Mutual cooperation for strategic stability of nuclear weapons was a legacy from the Cold War era, but it also has been an important issue between the United States and Russia in the post-Cold War era. Accordingly, they kept up the START I signed on July 30, 1991, and proceeded to a higher level of nuclear arms reduction treaty. In December 1991, the United States passed the Nunn-Lugar Act that provided economic support to the four former Soviet Republics for the reduction and security of nuclear weapons, material, and facilities.2 Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan essentially inherited tons of nuclear material and weapons and facilities after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The United States and Russia, concerned about the proliferation of "loose" nuclear material and weapons, sought to devise ways to deal with the unaccounted nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, which resulted in signing the protocol regarding strategic nuclear weapons at Lisbon, Portugal, on May 23, 1992. This protocol made Russia the only nuclear power in the former Soviet regions, and other republics transferred their nuclear weapons to Russia or dismantled them within a certain period and joined the NPT. This has been regarded as a great achievement of nuclear nonproliferation through U.S.-Russian cooperation. These efforts led to the U.S.-Russian nuclear agreement when Yeltsin visited Washington, DC, in June 1992, and fueled the START II negotiations to develop the strategic partnership between the two.3 The Clinton administration also actively supported those efforts to strengthen the strategic alliance and strategic partnership with Russia in order to prevent Russia's failure to reform and consequent international instability and to construct an international regime to solve nonproliferation and other international issues.4

U.S.-Russian cooperation was essential in maintaining the nonproliferation regime after the Cold War, and this achievement became the backbone for the development of the regime in the 1990s.5 Moreover, the renunciation of nuclear programs in South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, and Libya proved the success and necessity of the nonproliferation regime. Thus the NPT became an important factor in that nonproliferation regime. It is clear that U.S.-Russian cooperation played the most important role in this achievement. Both during and after the Cold War, U.S.-Russian cooperation had played a central role in nonproliferation, not only at the global level, but also at the regional level in Europe and Eurasia.

However, despite all the success and achievements of the NPT, optimism about nuclear security is disappearing. Alexei Arbatov has stressed that although nonproliferation of WMD made great strides right after the Cold War, the current NPT system and other nuclear and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) treaties are out of date, and that WMD have proliferated widely because of regional conflicts and the weakening of the great powers' influence in international conflict.6 The United States tried to construct a new international order in the mid- 1990s based on its hegemonic power status in the post-Cold War era, but U.S. efforts to expand NATO ignored Russia's diplomatic and security interests and weakened the U.S.-Russian alliance. In 2001, the Bush administration renounced the Anti-ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, emphasizing American national interests and alliance partnership based on the "strong power." This change threatened Russia's deterrence based on the concept of nuclear mutual destruction due to Russia's continuing arms reduction, and made Russia more dependent on its nuclear deterrence capability. Therefore Russia extended the operational service life of its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Yet the Bush administration subsequently attempted to accelerate the development of a missile defense (MD) system, contributing further to deteriorating U.S.- Russia relations.7

The weakening of U.S.-Russia cooperation at the regional level since the late 1990s made it difficult to maintain a multilateral basis for dealing with nuclear proliferation, and this led to the failure of the U.S. and Russian policy against nuclear proliferation. The United States strengthened its unilateral security policy based on its power rather than upon multilateral security cooperation, and, in this situation, the United States and Russia could not reach an agreement on nuclear issues.8 As the initial optimism of the 1990s faded, the permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council could not cope with WMD proliferation properly, and failed to prevent the efforts of India, Pakistan, Iraq, and North Korea to develop WMD. In addition, they disagreed on policies toward Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, showing a lack of common interest and perception.9

Under such circumstances, India and Pakistan undertook nuclear tests and became de-facto nuclear powers with intermediate range ballistic missiles. Moreover, the danger of super-terrorism with terrorist groups' possible use of nuclear weapons increased. Iran, Iraq, and North Korea purchased nuclear technology and equipment, and their nuclear program seriously challenged the international nonproliferation regime. Thus, it becomes more and more necessary to develop new cooperation to face these challenges.10

The Iranian and North Korean Nuclear Issues.

Specifically, the United States and Russia have displayed different perspectives on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear problems. To analyze these differences, it is necessary to look at three models that help to understand the disagreements between Russia and the United States: 1) the Ukrainian model that achieved nonproliferation through compensation; 2) the Libyan model that achieved nonproliferation through nonmilitary sanctions; and 3) the Iraqi model that removed the nuclear danger through military means.

The Ukraine Model. The main feature of the Ukrainian model can be characterized by active U.S.-Russian cooperation and diplomatic settlement of the problem of potential diffusion of nuclear weapons. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine possessed 130 SS- 19 and 46 SS-24 ICBMs, approximately 3,000 strategic nuclear weapons, and 600 cruise missiles, making Ukraine the third nuclear power. The United States and Russia persuaded Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons through compensation, so the Ukrainian congress ratified the NPT in November 1994 based on the Lisbon Protocol. Its last nuclear warhead finally was transferred to Russia in June 1996, with U.S. compensation for this process. This agreement exemplifies the positive-sum game of nuclear nonproliferation that satisfies the involved parties.11

The Libyan Model. However, such a model could not be applied to other cases. Libya had carried out an anti- Western policy based on its seventh largest petroleum production in the world, and tried to develop nuclear weapons for the purpose of securing its position in North Africa and the Muslim world, preparing for U.S. attack, and for defending against a war with Israel. In 1979 Libya imported a nuclear reactor from Russia for research purposes and maintained nuclear cooperation with Russia until 2002. In reaction to Libya's effort to develop WMD, the United States passed the "Iran and Libya Sanction Act" in 1996 and imposed nonmilitary sanctions by suspending Libya's foreign trade. Before this, the UN Security Council accused Libya of terrorism and passed Resolutions 731, 748, and 883 in 1992 and 1993, imposing nonmilitary sanctions. Such sanctions hugely damaged the Libyan economy, and Libya finally ended the UN sanctions only after promising to compensate for the Pan Am terror victims in 2003. Especially after the Bush administration took office, the United States took a resolute attitude on the war on terrorism and classified Libya as a target state for preemptive nuclear strikes. After 9 months of negotiations and contact with the British intelligence agency, Libya finally gave up its nuclear weapons program on December 19, 2003, immediately before the U.S. attack on Iraq.12 In short, in this model the United States achieved its objective of nonproliferation without Russia's active objection by putting pressure on Libya through nonmilitary sanctions applied through the UN Security Council and by increasing the threat of preemptive strikes.

The Iraqi Model. The Iraqi model is an example of using military means. The UN Security Council already had passed Resolution 687 in 1991 and imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. The UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) also had gone through 250 field investigations by December 1998, removing 48 long-range missiles and 690 tons of materials for chemical weapons. However, even after those investigations, economic sanctions were not lifted, UNSCOM withdrew its investigation team, and the United States and the United Kingdom (UK) bombed the suspected WMD facilities in Baghdad. Afterward, the Bush administration announced its warning of a preemptive strike on September 20, 2002, and delivered an ultimatum on November 8, 2002. The UN Security Council supported the United States with Resolution 1441, increasing the possibility of military action, and Iraq finally agreed to accept the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigations. However, those investigations found no evidence of Iraq's nuclear program. In spite of Saddam Hussein's claim of there being no nuclear program in Iraq, the investigation team's request for a cautious reaction, and the objections of Russia and other UN Security Council members, the U.S.- led coalition invaded Iraq. By doing so, the coalition forces completely removed any hint of Iraq's nuclear development. Nonetheless, despite the large British participation in Iraq, the U.S. attempt at nonproliferation through military force largely has been viewed as a unilateral action.

Today the problem is that the United States and Russia disagree on exactly how to resolve the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues. Especially regarding the North Korean nuclear issue, the United States favored the Libyan model, while China favored the Ukrainian model. China appeared to believe that the Ukrainian model might persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear program by providing a multilateral security guarantee as well as economic compensation. But Russia seems to have some ambivalence between these two models.13

This monograph tries to answer the questions of what the difference is between the U.S. and Russian positions, and what lies behind Russia's ambivalent position, given that Russia's nonproliferation policy is affected deeply by its relations with the United States. In particular, it is important to understand why Russia's general principles of nonproliferation are not applied consistently at the regional level. Therefore, this monograph will address such issues as where and why the United States and Russia agree or disagree on the North Korean nuclear issue and nonproliferation on the Korean peninsula, and will identify the characteristics and causes of Russian nonproliferation policy toward Northeast Asia. In addition, this monograph will show how the Russian position is reflected in the six-party talks for the second North Korean nuclear crisis and will clarify the significance and constraints of Russia's nuclear nonproliferation policy in the Northeast Asian context.


Although the United States and Russia agree on the goal of nonproliferation as a general principle, they disagree on dealing with specific cases. After President Vladimir Putin took office, significant changes took place in Russia's national security strategy based on the reevaluation of various factors like the expansion of NATO, the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty and construction of missile defenses, and terrorism.14 Due to the ensuing security perception of the occurrence of fundamental changes in its strategic environment, Russia pursued a series of security and foreign policies to seek a new strategic balance in the U.S.-led world order and tried to strengthen its position and the possible benefits that thereby might accrue to it.15 Iran and North Korea highlight the dual-sided U.S.-Russian relations of cooperation and competition in nuclear nonproliferation.

In the Iranian case, Russia's position is pretty clear.16 Russia seems to have a good reason to support Iran's position. Russia not only has $800 million of economic interest in building the Bushehr nuclear plant, but also regards the Iranian case as a means to achieve its global policy goal of WMD nonproliferation. Moreover, given Iran's rising significance in the Middle East, Russia's cooperation with Iran will improve its geostrategic position against the United States. Washington is well aware of this and also seems to understand that Russia's supply of nuclear technology will not affect Iran's nuclear armament directly.17 Given Iran's increasing national power, strategic importance, possession of petroleum and natural gas, and potential market, Washington would not allow Russia to use Iran in its attempt to increase Russia's influence in the Middle East and Central Asia. However, despite Iran's dependence on Russia for nuclear reactors and conventional weaponry, the Putin administration has not been able to get much of what it wants from Tehran. Moscow's conviction that Russia can exploit the Iranian-American rivalry is in reciprocal proportion to Tehran's exploiting Moscow's sense of rivalry with Washington.18 Thus Russia's cooperation and confrontation with the United States over Iran must result from its geostrategic and economic considerations. In that case, what policy does Russia pursue between North Korea and the United States? In fact, North Korea does not appear to bring as much economic benefit to Russia as Iran does. If so, why does Russia support North Korea's position? During the Brezhnev era, the Soviet position on security issues on the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia was affected by the need for a regional security regime mirroring the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and resulted in several nuclear free zone proposals for Northeast Asia. After the Soviet Union proposed the establishment of an Asian Collective Security System in 1969, Gorbachev suggested several collective security regimes such as "Comprehensive International Security System," "Asian version of Helsinki conference," and "All Asian Forum." These proposals can be summarized as the Soviet Union's efforts for "stability and settlement of peace in Northeast Asia through multilateralism." After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has pushed continuously for the establishment of multilateral talks to resolve Northeast Asian security issues. President Boris Yeltsin also proposed to establish a multilateral negotiation and regional risk-management system for Northeast Asia when he visited Korea in November 1992. In March 1994 during the first North Korean nuclear crisis, Russia proposed eight-party talks; including North and South Korea, Russia, the United States, China, Japan, the IAEA, and the UN Secretary General, emphasizing its position as a member of Northeast Asia. In addition, Russia proposed 10-party talks (North and South Korea, 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, Japan, the UN Secretary General, and the IAEA Secretary General) for the Korean peninsula that would include general and working-level meetings.19 Most recently, regarding the second North Korean nuclear crisis, Alexander Losyukov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Foreign Ministry, proposed six-party talks in October 2002 to create an environment for the resolution of the issue.20 Thus, Russia has shown a consistent position on a Northeast Asian multilateral security system.

However, the rise of China and the subsequent changing balance of power, the most important change in Northeast Asia in the post-Cold War era, is posing a great challenge for Russia. Because the United States will pursue policies cautiously to balance against the rising challenger, China also is very cautious in its policies. In fact, the Bush administration does not consider Russia a serious enemy at this point. Assuming there will be no major war for hegemonic change in Eurasia at least for a generation, it apparently concluded that the potential threat referred to as the "hydraulic pressure of geopolitics" is moving toward East Asia.21 Although there were major wars in this region in the last century, there exists neither a regional security system nor a system of institutionalized regional cooperation. Especially because the conflicting interests of major powers exist in this region, the United States believes that it has a special stake in maintaining its regional hegemony. Furthermore, a serious militarization is going on in the region.22 In light of these geopolitical changes, Russia, for its part, felt a need to increase its weakening influence and renew its presence in Northeast Asia. In fact, Russia assesses that its influence in this region has diminished as similarly occurred throughout much of Europe after NATO's expansion. After all, Northeast Asia is searching for a new balance of power due to the rise of China, and this makes it difficult for regional powers to decisively choose one or another policy.

In addition, the issue of nuclear proliferation is very important in Northeast Asia. Setting aside the two North Korean nuclear crises, the largest two major nuclear powers-the United States and Russia-are involved deeply in this region, and China is trying to raise its nuclear capability. This condition may make vertical nuclear proliferation more serious in this region. Moreover, Japan and South Korea possess enough capability of potential nuclear armament and have a special interest in North Korea's nuclear program. Thus, if North Korea becomes a nuclear power, Northeast Asia is more likely to experience serious vertical and horizontal nuclear proliferation.23 Such a situation will not only cause instability in Russia's eastern border but also give Russia the extra burden of adapting itself to the new competition for nuclear weapons.

Russia's Northeast Asia policy cannot but be influenced by its various geostrategic interests, such as relations with major powers like the United States, China, and Japan and its complex calculation regarding the two Koreas, as well as by its own political and economic factors. All these make Russia's nonproliferation policy for this region very complex.24

In the "Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation" released in June 2000, President Putin stated clearly that Russia's Korea policy would focus on guaranteeing Russia's equal participation in the Korean issues and maintaining balanced relations with both North and South Korea.25 This policy intended to focus on economic cooperation with South Korea and on political and security cooperation with North Korea. Putin attempted to regain Russia's strategic position on the Korean peninsula by restoring Russian-North Korean relations rather than hurting Russian-South Korean relations. In short, Putin's Korea policy was based on a practical policy line to overcome Russia's dilemma by pursuing the "causal benefit" to expand its political role on the Korean peninsula and the "practical benefit" to secure economic gains by strengthening political and security ties with North Korea on the basis of a "New Russia-North Korea Friendship Treaty" and increasing economic cooperation with South Korea.

What does Putin try to achieve through such an equi-distance foreign policy on the Korean peninsula in the 21st century? First, the central issue in East Asia for Russia is to ensure its position and restore its influence on the Korean peninsula. Because Russia shares its Eastern border with the peninsula, the peninsula always has been included in Russia's national interest. Therefore Russia is determined to play a central role in resolving the Korean issue.26 Russia's national interest in the Korean peninsula can be defined clearly by Korea's significance as a strategic point in Northeast Asia, i.e., a geostrategic gate connecting the continent and the ocean.27 In order to restore its influence and build a geopolitical context (favorable for Russia) in Northeast Asia, Putin needed a strong diplomatic effort to build up an influential position on the peninsula. Russian strategists like Andrei Voznensky commented on the geopolitical significance of the Korean peninsula:

The situation on the Korean peninsula is not only a simple political problem, but an important nexus to decide the flow of international security, politics, diplomacy, and economics in the Asian-Pacific region in the future. Therefore, the state which is not involved in the Korean issue will be excluded from East Asian affairs.28

In other words, Russia's failure to be involved in Korean issues would mean giving up its influence on the entire Asia-Pacific region. So it is very natural that Russia regards diplomacy related to the Korean peninsula as a "nerve center" of Russia's Northeast Asia strategy.

Thus, Russia's key security interest on the Korean peninsula is to form a peaceful and stable peninsula, which can help Russia to focus its own domestic reform. Russia's security goals on the Korean peninsula can be summarized as preventing direct military conflicts between the two Koreas or military conflicts caused by the intervention of a third party, and as checking overconcentration of the armed forces there. The former objective aims to remove the security cost produced by the military instability on the Korean peninsula, and the latter goal intends to prevent the domino effect in the Northeast Asian arms race that seriously may destabilize Russia's Far East security.

Second, Putin's political interest on the Korean peninsula is to be involved in moderating Korean issues and, if possible, Northeast Asia's balance of power, consequently strengthening Russia's geopolitical position according to its national interest.

Third, Putin's Russia sets four economic goals on the peninsula.29 The first goal is to make the Korean peninsula a bridgehead for Russia to make its way into the Asia-Pacific economy. As a Eurasian country, Russia seeks a balanced development of eastern territories beyond the Urals and influence in Asia. By increasing cooperation with South Korea, which has a significant geopolitical position in the region, Russia attempts to enlarge its field of activity into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and to strengthen its position in the Asia-Pacific region by joining the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).30

The second goal is to open markets for Russia's competitive products such as energy resources, high- tech weapons, and nuclear technology. The third goal is to develop an economic partnership for the development of Russia's economic "desert," Siberia and the Russian Far East. From the standpoint of national development strategy in the 21st century, Russia actively pursues projects to develop the large oil and gas resources in Siberia and the Far East. Given the geopolitical competition with Japan and China, Russia regards South Korea as an important source of capital and technology for the exploitation of resources and economic revitalization in this area and encourages South Korea's large-scale economic cooperation and investment.31

The fourth goal is to extend the final destination of the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR), the Eurasian land- bridge of transportation, to the South. Russia recently has emphasized the connection of Trans-Siberian Railway and Trans-Korean Railway (TKR). Russia once stated, "We are willing to invest more than one billion dollars on the TSR-TKR connection project," and made diplomatic efforts to persuade two Koreas to connect the main course of TKR to TSR along the east coast of Korea line.32

In fact, Putin's new equidistance diplomacy, provided by the normalization of Russia-North Korean relations, helped Russia recover its geopolitical position on the Korean peninsula. North Korea provides important geopolitical leverage for Russia to control the situation on the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia. In the future, Russia may demand more reward from South Korea by using Russian- North Korean relations, and if the reward does not meet its expectations, Russia may use diplomatic resources that South Korea does not want to see. This option may include sales of high-tech weapons and military support for North Korea. However, Russia has more diverse and important political and economic interests with the South than with the North, and is less likely to provoke the South. If Russia inevitably has to give military support to the North, it is more likely to limit the support to defensive weapons, considering the strategic stability on the Korean peninsula, and even in this case, it will demand hard currency based on their history of reciprocity.33 Here we can see a facet of Russia's dilemma in Northeast Asia. In short, Russia apparently pursues the equi-distance policy toward the two Koreas based on the separation of economy and politics, but in reality it cannot help but maintain a Southern bias based on realistic calculations of national interest. Russia needs to cooperate with South Korea for its national projects, such as energy development in Siberia and the Far East, the connection of TKR and TSR, its access to the Korean weaponry market that the United States has monopolized, its entry into world economic organizations, and, finally, its security interest in the six-party talks and multilateral security system in this region.

Thus, Russia will face numerous complex issues in Northeast Asia in case of military tension caused by the North Korean nuclear crisis. Russia's worries primarily begin with the fact that unlike Iraq, North Korea shares a 19km border with Russia and is affected directly and structurally by the stability of Northeast Asia. First of all, a nuclear North Korea may threaten the strategic stability of Northeast Asia and Russia's Far East security by sparking the chain reaction of nuclear armament by potential semi-nuclear powers like Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, and providing an excuse for the development of U.S. missile defense systems and Japan's rearmament. In short, Russia cannot but worry about the arms race, the change of regional security order, and unstable relations in this region that may be caused by North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Russia has strategic concerns about a military conflict on the Korean peninsula that it can neither ignore nor fail to get involved in. Unless Russia gives up North Korea, it inevitably will have to deal with the deterioration of relations with the United States, but North Korean refugees in the Far East also will be troubling politically for Russia.34 If the United States performs surgical strikes on the Yongbyon nuclear facilities, radioactive fallouts potentially can be a disaster for East Asia. In the economic sphere, conflicts on the Korean peninsula will hurt Russia's two important national projects of energy development in West Siberia and the Far East and the TSR-TKR connection.

In conclusion, as Russian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Losyukov once stated, "Military conflict in the Korean peninsula is not conducive to Russia's national interest."35 A military conflict on the Korean peninsula resulting from the North Korean nuclear crisis is a worse-case scenario for Russia. Russia currently regards stability at its borders as the central issue of its foreign policy in East Asia in order to secure its domestic dynamics, such as the consolidation of democracy, development of a market economy, and political and social stabilization. For Russia, which seeks a peaceful regional environment, the North Korean nuclear issue is one of the focal points of its foreign policy. Russia cannot sit back as a passive spectator regarding the North Korean nuclear issue because it needs to eliminate the security cost caused by military instability on the Korean peninsula; recover its national pride, which was hurt by being left out of the four-party talks during the Yeltsin era; and balance against U.S. hegemonic behavior in the region.36 This explains why Russia was the first nation that proposed to be an active moderator when the second Yongbyon crisis might have invited a possible U.S. preemptive military strike on the North.


Russia's reaction to the second North Korean nuclear crisis was to secure its national interest, but Russia also had other dilemmas. In fact, after the Putin administration took office, Russia's North Korea policy became more active than before. However, Russia's gains have been marginal thus far. For instance, President Putin visited North Korea during the missile crisis in 2000 and spoke for the North Korean position at the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit 2000, a clear shift of Russia's foreign policy in Northeast Asia toward a more active role. Since then, Russia has supported North Korea's position on the nuclear issue, despite suspicion of the North's nuclear program by surrounding countries. When U.S. special envoy Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly announced in October 2002 that North Korea admitted its nuclear development, Russia showed a neutral position, demanding that the United States provide the "hard evidence" and that North Korea explain the suspicion. However, after North Korea admitted its development of nuclear weapons in the three-party talks in Beijing, Russia's effort to mitigate tensions went in vain, resulting in a diplomatic crisis. President Putin had persuaded the West to believe that North Korea could be a trustworthy partner and keep their international agreements, and had built the framework to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue since 2000, but North Korea's pronouncement of the nuclear development made Russia's position awkward. The critics in Russia charged that the North Korean pronouncement made President Putin's policy related to the North useless and increased distrust for Russia. A report published by the Foundation for Prospective Studies and Initiative argued that, if North Korea does not give up its nuclear program, Russia should participate in the international sanctions on North Korea to save Russia's reputation.37 Likewise, the reaction of Russia to North Korea, which had nullified Russia's attempt to strengthen its position in Northeast Asia, has a double side, and makes Russia's first dilemma between a hard and soft reaction to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) understandable.

However, Russia's immediate official reaction focused on North Korea's intentions and the capability of its nuclear program. And in this situation, Russia overcame the first phase of its dilemma, successfuly redefining its role as the "honest broker." That is because Russia recognized through its communication channels and information that the purpose of the North Korean nuclear program was not to secure nuclear deterrence, but to pursue a "regime protection function."38

So Russia dispatched Vice Minister Losyukov to Pyongyang as a special envoy in January 2003. He listened to the North's opinion and proposed a "package deal" as the solution for the issues. This was Russia's first response to the North Korean nuclear issue as an active moderator that listened to Kim Jong- il and other high-ranking officials and delivered the North's position to South Korea, the United States, China, and Japan. In this process, Russia presented both the package deal and the "collective security assurance" plan. The package deal's main points were that: 1) both the United States and North Korea observe such obligations as the North-South Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the Agreed Framework of Geneva, 2) the United States and North Korea resume bilateral and multilateral talks and provide security assurance for the North through these talks, and 3) the United States and other countries resume humanitarian and economic support to the North. The point about a collective security assurance plan can be understood especially as a compromise, since a U.S.-North Korean nonaggression pact actually is impossible to achieve.39

Russia's official position on this issue became clear when Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov met with Maurice Strong, UN special envoy on the North Korean nuclear program, in March 2003. Foreign Minister Ivanov emphasized that Russia's proposal for the package deal is the only solution to the crisis and insisted that the international community maintain a "cautious and balanced approach." Emphasis was put on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through North Korea's observation of the NPT, acceptance of the IAEA's inspections, and on the peaceful political-diplomatic resolution of the crisis through direct U.S.-North Korean talks, rather than through a military approach.40 There are two implications of this argument. First, Russia agreed to North Korea's position that the North Korean nuclear issue should be resolved between the United States and North Korea. However, Russia made an official announcement that it "objected to North Korea possessing nuclear weapons, and at the same time to U.S. military pressures on North Korea."41 This Russian position shows Russia's second dilemma on the issue. Though Russia does not want nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula, it must moderate the negotiations and advocate the North's concern, and therefore cannot merely follow U.S. initiatives on economic and military sanctions.42

Russia's proposal implies that it already had acknowledged, through its steady connection with the North, that North Korea had developed nuclear programs against a security threat from the United States, and also believed that bilateral talks should come before a U.S. security assurance. Therefore, Russia now urged direct U.S.-North Korean dialogue along with China-contrary to its previous policy. While Russia complained strongly when it was excluded from the previous four-party talks, it accepted that the Beijing three-party talks on April 23-25, 2003, did not include Russia, and understood that the Beijing talks constituted a direct U.S.-North Korean dialogue mediated by China. However, Russia consistently insisted that bilateral talks between the United States and North Korea or the three-party talks including China are not enough to build a fundamental solution to the issue and, therefore, the talks should develop into six-party talks that would include other regional powers, such as Russia, Japan, and South Korea.

After the United States rejected direct dialogue with North Korea, the DPRK stated on May 25, 2003, that it might accept a U.S. proposal for multilateral talks. After July 23, it officially informed the other countries of its acceptance of the talks. In particular, on August 1, 2003, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the detailed North Korean position on multilateral talks after consulting with North Korea's ambassador to Russia, Park Eui-chun. Along with China, Russia played a very critical role in persuading North Korea to accept the multilateral talks.43 China and Russia succeeded in persuading North Korea to understand that the United States would not accept the nonaggression pact and that North Korea needed the multilateral framework that would guarantee the regime's survival through mutual compromise and agreement. In this process, Russia appeared to succeed in carrying out its role as a moderator, overcoming the second aspect of its dilemma.

Russia's third dilemma is that North Korea proposed to include Russia in the crisis solution process. It was not the United States, but North Korea that insisted on including Russia in the six-party talks. The United States tried to isolate Russia from the North Korean nuclear issue. Just as it excluded Russia from the four- party talks in 1994, the United States left out Russia and tried to expand the three-party talks into the five- party talks that included North and South Korea, the United States, China, and Japan.44 Of course, the United States opened the possibility of including Russia, but this depended on whether Russia was willing to agree with the U.S. preference, namely the Libyan model of denuclearization. Though South Korea did not object to Russia's exclusion, North Korea wanted Russia to be involved in the multilateral process. Because of Russia's active effort as a moderator, North Korea insisted on Russia's joining in the talks, and the United States accepted.

In fact, after the United States decided on the five- party talks, China sent Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo to Pyongyang and urged Kim Jong-il to accept the five-party talks. However, Kim Jong-il rejected the five-party talks and insisted on holding six-party talks. Though Russia disapproved of North Korea's nuclear development, North Korea believed that Russia would support their position and lobby the United States on its behalf. Furthermore, Kim Jong-il called President Putin in July 2003 and asked Russia to join in the six-party talks and host the meeting. President Putin agreed to join in the six-party talks, but refused to host the meeting because of continuing Chinese efforts to mediate between the United States and North Korea.45 By including Russia in the process, North Korea expected Russia to check the U.S. hard-line policy and support North Korea's position. However, Russia did not wish to take the hosting role because Russia's in-between position was limited by its previously described dilemma. Instead, Russia supported China's hosting role for the talks.

Russia's goal was to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear program by delivering the North's position, providing partial support for the North and urging the United States to cooperate. Of course, this goal resulted from Russia's complex calculation of its position. Russia's position can be summarized as follows. First, Russia has a right to participate in the process of resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis as a regional power. Russia made its position clear by strengthening its geopolitical and geo-economic positions. Second, Russia made clear its objection to the proliferation of WMD, including nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. North Korean proliferation would hurt stability on the peninsula and stimulate other nations' arms race, including Japanese rearmament, threatening Russia's security in its Far East. Third, Russia made clear its strong support for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue. The outbreak of conflict on the Korean peninsula would not only threaten Russia's security but also hurt its national strategy of developing the Far East and Siberia. Consequently, in order to accomplish Russia's national strategy, the peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis and stability on the Korean peninsula are necessary for the development of the Far East and Siberia, regional economic cooperation, and securing Russia's position as a regional power by connecting East Asia and Eurasia.

Russia's achievements through the four rounds of the six-party talks can be summarized as follows: First of all, as mentioned before, the rapid development of Russian-North Korean relations after 2000 appeared to have enabled the six-party talks to occur. However, the six-party talks did not result directly from the restored relations between Russia and North Korea, but from Russia's positive image as an impartial moderator and its increased influence on the North. Though President Putin's friendship with Kim Jong-il may have been important, Russia's "persuasive power" became more influential than its "coercive power" over North Korea.

Second, Russia's role as an "honest broker" should be recognized. Russia hopes that its role as a moderator and its package deal proposal will play a critical role in the comprehensive and gradual resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis. In particular, Russia succeeded in communicating the North's position to other countries and persuading them to enter into negotiations with North Korea.

Third, Russia prevented the rapid acceleration of tensions and helped avoid conflict between the United States and North Korea. After the U.S. disclosure of the North's nuclear program in October 2002, Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov stated that no conclusion should be given without hard evidence. Russian nuclear energy minister Alexander Rumyantsev also denied North Korea's capability to develop nuclear weapons.46 While the prospect for the second round of talks seemed uncertain in October 2003, high-ranking Russian military officers stated that North Korea was trying to develop nuclear weapons but did not possess them yet.47 Russia's behavior can be understood as its effort to check the U.S. effort to drive North Korea into a corner. Russia's buffering role regarding the North's nuclear program gave other countries more time to respond discreetly to this issue, but it also may have impacted the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula negatively by giving more time to the North to continue proliferation.

Fourth, Russia has played a role as a safety valve for sudden changes or military conflict that may result from a second North Korean nuclear crisis, especially after the second Bush administration upset North Korea with its reference to "ending the tyranny," which hurt the six-party talks. As a result, North Korea officially announced its possession of nuclear weapons and refused to participate in the talks. Such statements that imply regime change may worsen the North's perception of the United States.48 Russia continued to object to such negative statements, though it acknowledges that changing the domestic regime is necessary for the ultimate resolution of the Korean peninsula's problems. If North Korea cannot change and join the international community, a crisis may recur and threaten Russia's national security once again. However, Russia prefers a gradual transformation over a sudden change through military means and is, therefore, helping the North cooperate with other nations, recover its economy, and obtain multilateral security assurances. If North Korea starts even a minor military conflict or the regime collapses, a large number of refugees may be produced and Russia will have to deal with the consequences-leading to serious instability in the region. As a result, Russia agrees with South Korea in favoring a gradual change in North Korea.

Russia's achievements did not result entirely from its opposition to the United States. As noted above, the United States and Russia must cooperate with each other regarding the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. This cooperation is not fully comprehensive, even though Russia once sent a message to North Korea drawing a line on its nuclear activities. Russia's daily newspaper, Izvestiya, reported before the first round meetings on a possible Russian preemptive strike on the North Korean nuclear facilities.49 According to the report, many strategists argued that if Russia sees indications of a North Korean attack or if there is some possibility that North Korea will wage a nuclear war against the United States and South Korea, Russia may need to perform a preemptive military strike on North Korea through the Pacific fleet, because the North's use of nuclear weapons on the South may result in serious pollution and damage in the Far East. This can be interpreted as Russia's warning against the North's possible renunciation of the six-party talks and conduct of nuclear tests.

In addition, Russia carried out a large-scale military exercise in August 18-27, 2003, for the first time in 15 years. One of the main purposes of this military exercise, which was performed under a state of emergency in the Russian Far East, was to gauge the ability to absorb an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees if war occurs.50 South Korea and Japan also participated in rescue exercises and other multipurpose exercises, including one called "TU-160." Through this, Russia made clear its importance as a Northeast Asian military power and sent a signal warning against the North's provocation and America's use of force.51 This was a strong expression of Russia's position regarding the Korean issue and a significant effort to show its capability as a great power.

Fifth, Russia had worked like a coupling device in the six-party talks by continuously insisting on a multilateral approach to the Northeast Asian security. In fact, multilateralism has not been realized easily in Northeast Asia. Strictly speaking, the six-party talks cannot be labeled as a "multilateralism" framework.52 However, it was more of a multilateral experiment, with Russia playing a role as a coupling device by repeatedly urging other countries to solve the difficulties step by step. Russia's position on the creation of a Northeast Asian multilateral security organization gradually took shape as a common interest among regional powers and was reflected in the joint statement of the fourth round of the six-party talks.

Thus, Russia's plans are to strengthen its position as a regional power along with China in the six-party talks and actively pursue a balance of power in the region. In this sense, Russia seems sure that it will play an important role in long-term regional stability. Even at the height of the North Korean nuclear issue, Russia continued to argue for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, for North Korea's observance of the Agreed Framework, against a U.S. preemptive strike on the North, and for peaceful resolution of the crisis through dialogue. Thus, the exclusion of Russia from the Korean issue could be very detrimental to any multilateral effort. It is quite controversial but thought- provoking to consider B. I. Tkachenko's statement that "one of the most important reasons for the collapse of the Agreed Framework was that Russia was excluded from the process."53


Russia's policy toward nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula can be summarized as follows. First of all, the most important variable that determines Russia's nonproliferation policy is its relationship with the United States. Russia has acknowledged that its U.S. policy right after the Cold War was biased and since has changed its foreign policy strategy. Such a change made Russia pursue a new strategic balance with regard to its relations with the United States. This is the basic factor that defines Russia's nonproliferation policy. To pursue a new balance of power, Russia shows balancing and bandwagoning simultaneously, and this made Russia favor the multilateral approach to overcome its power disadvantage. Such factors differentiate Russia's position from that of the United States regarding both vertical and horizontal proliferation problems.

Second, Russia's goal of nuclear nonproliferation cannot be defined in simplistic terms in Northeast Asia where a new power dynamic is forming. The rise of China and America's new Northeast Asia strategy give Russia a great challenge and opportunity. Because Russia has an unstable place in this region, it tries to use the nuclear issue to strengthen its position as a regional power.

Third, Russia pursues plans to develop the Russian Far East and Siberia with projects of transportation and energy development to secure a strong place as an Asian power. Such non-nuclear issues greatly affect Russia's approach toward the Korean peninsula, so Russia's Northeast Asia strategy is shaped by the complex consideration of both military-political factors and economic factors, leading to a nexus between nuclear and non-nuclear issues.

Fourth, Russia was caught in a dilemma due to the second North Korean nuclear crisis. Russia agrees with the United States in its objection to the proliferation of WMD, including nuclear weapons, but it refuses to accept a hard-line policy toward North Korea because it is afraid of losing a means to maximize its interest in Northeast Asia. Because Russia believes that the weakening of the NPT and subsequent horizontal proliferation are due mainly to the United States, Russia cooperates with the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but objects to America's one-sided hard-line policy.

Fifth, Russia also may face the dilemma of losing both the peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue and North Korean denuclearization if the six-party talks drag on, resulting in a situation that is favorable to neither the United States nor North Korea. Thus, Russia needs to create a consensus for making a compromise with China and South Korea between the United States and North Korea. In particular, Russia believes that North Korea does not yet have nuclear weapons, so it supports the North's position and cautiously attempts to regain its influence on the Korean peninsula.

This explains the reason for Russia's different response from that of the United States regarding the second North Korean nuclear crisis. While the first Bush administration tries to use the Libyan model, North Korea favors the Ukrainian model that China supports. In this process, Russia supports the Chinese position and tries to strengthen its influence in Northeast Asia.

The Bush administration tried to form the "5 against 1" structure to pursue UN Security Council sanctions following the Libyan model without much success for the following reasons. First of all, China and Russia did not accept the U.S. hard-line policy, and South Korea could not give up its engagement policy toward the North that had been implemented since the Kim Dae-jung administration began it in 2000, so the U.S. "5 against 1" structure did not succeed. If the United States could have formed the structure and gotten UN sanctions, it might have pursued the Iraqi model that shifts from economic to military sanctions. Of course, if the six-party talks collapse and North Korea launches a nuclear test, the U.S. plan may be realized. In case of a nuclear test by North Korea, not only South Korea's position but also Russia's place as an opportunistic moderator will be much weakened and China will have some difficulty in supporting the North. However, because North Korea is not likely to give up the six- party talks and cross the "red line" that China does not support, this is less likely to be the North's policy option.

Is the Ukrainian model that China and North Korea pursue and Russia supports useful in reality? There are several limitations in applying the Ukrainian model to North Korea. The number of nations that are involved in the issue is different. While the United States and Russia were involved in the Ukrainian issue, there are six nations in the North Korean equation that have different positions. Furthermore, while the United States and Russia cooperated to persuade Ukraine together, the United States, China, and Russia do not agree completely on this issue. Even if Russian and American cooperation on nuclear reduction and control in the European context could be (and were) negotiated bilaterally between Washington and Moscow, regional arrangements in Northeast Asia only can be comprehensive if China, with its nuclear and naval capabilities, is a part of it.54 In addition, Russia and America have different understandings of this nuclear crisis. While the United States tries to regard North Korea's violation of the Agreed Framework as a global issue related to the spread of terrorism, China emphasizes North Korea's perception of security, ascribes some responsibility to the United States, and argues for the need for a Northeast Asian security system. Russia plays a mediating role with South Korea that tries to harmonize two different positions. As a result, the six nations' positions have shifted to a "2:2:2" framework. These changes appears to have had some influence on the second Bush administration. President Bush's mention of "Mr. Kim" and Secretary of State Condolezza Rice's reference to the DPRK as a "sovereign state" showed the beginning of the change. Afterward, North Korea returned to the six-party talks and resumed negotiations. Yet when the United States refused to accept North Korea's peaceful use of nuclear energy and made it difficult to achieve the agreement of "word for word"55 at the fourth round of the talks, Russia and China supported North Korea and persuaded the United States to accept the compromise of September 19, 2005. South Korea also supported this compromise and cooperated to persuade the United States, making the formation "3:1:2" or "4:2" and overcoming another hard time in the talks. Such a complex mechanism of the six-party talks shows that the Ukrainian model has some limitations in the Korean issue. Nonetheless, there is always a possibility of a grand deal in which the United States and North Korea will give and take more than expected.56 What North Korea demands for the dismantlement of its nuclear program is assurance of regime and military security, the abandonment of the U.S. hostile policy and the conclusion of a peace treaty, the removal of North Korea from the list of states sponsoring terrorism, economic support, and the normalization of U.S.-North Korean relations. Their give-and-takes are not impossible, but what matters in the six-party talks is how to make a compromise. Russia tries to shift the approach of the talks from the Libyan model the United States favors to the Ukrainian model for their compromise. The reasons why Russia's argument eventually might be accepted by the United States is that Russia is still a superpower with nuclear weapons and that the United States also needs Russia's cooperation for the maintenance of the nuclear nonproliferation system. This is the critical factor by which Russia, along with China and South Korea, can persuade the United States to make a concession in the six-party talks. If Russia's goal is achieved, a new model of denuclearization may be produced in which the moderator, not the parties concerned, leads.


After the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005, the United States started to press North Korea through financial sanctions, freezing North Korean accounts at Banco Delta Asia. Against this measure, North Korea resisted opening a new round of the six-party talks, officially pronounced its possession of nuclear weaponry on February 10, 2006, and launched a missile test again on July 5, 2006. However, the United States did not cease its financial sanctions, and North Korea ventured on with a nuclear test on October 9, 2006, as a sign of crossing the "expected" red line. On the initiative of the United States and Japan, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1718 on October 14, 2006, which involves nonmilitary sanctions. This move initially made the prospects for the resumption the six-party talks very dim.

Russia once again moved quickly, as it did at the first stage of the second North Korean nuclear crisis, dispatching Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Aleksandr Alekseev to North Korea. After his visit to Pyongyang, he stressed that possibilities still exist for political resolution, and that Russia strongly opposed military sanctions. Owing to the opposition from Russia, along with China, the application of military means was excluded from the UN resolution. But Russia cannot help taking part in nonmilitary sanctions toward North Korea. This kind of Russian "dualistic" position, as was elaborated in this monograph, still seems to continue without serious changes.

As the Russian special envoy had predicted the possibility of six-party talks reopening, North Korea agreed to return to the talks on October 31, 2006. In spite of the significant change of the situation after the nuclear test, a long and tiresome tug-of-war between North Korea and the United States seems to be in line. Russia can play its role of "honest broker" as long as North Korea does not cross the "real" red line, even though we cannot be convinced of its boundary, for example, transferring nuclear technology and materials to terrorist groups or other rogue states.


1. Official document of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation: "__ ________ __________ __________ ________ ________ ___________ _________" ("The Basic Formulations of the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation"), February 1992.

2. For details of the denuclearization process in these states, see Protecting Against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons: An Action Agenda for Global Partnership, Russian Perspectives and Priorities, Vol. 4, Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS, January 2003.

3. Leszek Buszynski, Russian Foreign Policy after the Cold War, London: Praeger, 1996, pp. 59-61.

4. Burns also characterizes the Clinton administration's Russia policy as "engage policy" and "incorporation policy." See Nicholas Burns, et al., "Three Years After the Collapse of the USSR: A Panel of Former and Current Policymakers," Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1995, pp. 2-3.

5. On the security cooperation between U.S. and Russian development, see Michael Cox, "The Necessary Partnership?: The Clinton Presidency and Post-Soviet Russia," International Affairs, Vol. 70, No. 4, 1994, pp. 635-637; Steven Kull, "Cooperation or Competition: The Battle of Ideas in Russia and the USA," in James E. Goodby and Benoit Morel, eds., The Limited Partnership, Building a Russian-US Security Community, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, chap 12; Bill Clinton, "A Strategic Alliance with Russian Reform," U.S. Department of State Dispatch, Vol. 4, No. 14, April 5, 1993, pp. 191-192; Strobe Talbott, "U.S. Must Lead a Strategic Alliance with Post-Soviet Reform," U.S. Department of State Dispatch, Vol. 4, No. 17, April 26, 1993.

6. Alexei Arbatov, "Horizontal Proliferation: New Changes," Russia in the Global Politics, Vol. 4, No. 6, 2004.

7. V. V. Zhurkin, et al., Between the Past and the Future: Russia on the Transatlantic Context, Moscow, Russia: 2001, pp. 136-139.

8. Alexei Arbatov and Vladimir Dvorkin, eds., _______ ___________ _ ________________ (Nuclear Deterrence and Nonproliferation), Moscow: Moscow Carnegie Center, 2005, pp. 12- 14; George Perkovich, et al., Universal Compliance, 2004, pp. 9-10.

9. Philip Saunders, "New Approaches to Nonproliferation: Supplementing or Supplanting the Regime?" The Nonproliferation Review, Fall-Winter 2001, pp. 128-130.

10. For example, see George Perkovich, et al., Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security, Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2004.

11. Roman Ropadiuk, American-Ukrainian Nuclear Relations, Washington, DC: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, 1996.

12. Shannon A. Kile, "Nuclear Arms Control and Non- Proliferation," SIPRI Yearbook 2004: Armaments, Disarmaments and International Security, Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 2004, pp. 617-619.

13. John S. Park, "Inside Multilateralism: The Six-Party Talks," The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 4, Autumn 2005, pp. 84-85.

14. Cf. Celeste A. Wallander, "Wary of the West: Russian Security Policy at the Millennium," in march00/cwmr00.htm; Mark Kramer, "What is Driving Russia's New Strategic Concept?" in www/ POLICY%20MEMOS/Kramer103.htm; Nikolai Sokov, "Russia's New National Security Concept: The Nuclear Angle," in www.; Stephen J. Blank, Threats to Russian Security: The View from Moscow, Carlisle Barracks, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2001.

15. An Agenda for Renewal: U.S.-Russian Relations, A Report by the Russian and Eurasian Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, December 2000); "U.S. Russian Relations: A Turning Point?" Russia Watch: Analysis and Commentary, No. 5, March 2001, pp. 1-8.

16. Vladimir A. Orlov and Alexander Vinnikov, "The Great Guessing Game: Russia and the Iranian Nuclear Issue," The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 2, Spring 2005.

17. So Russian observers opine that U.S. objection to Russia's assisting the Iranian nuclear energy program are based not on security concerns, but on commercial considerations. Mark N. Katz, "Exploiting Rivalry for Prestige and Profit: An Assessment of Putin's Foreign Policy Approach," Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 52, No. 3, May/June 2005, p. 30.

18. Katz, pp. 30-31.

19. Such a proposal shows that the working-group meeting after the second round of six-party talks has been raised by Russia. For Russia's proposals for multilateral security system on the Korean peninsula, see Valentin Moiseev, "On the Korean Settlement," International Affairs, Vol. 43, No. 3, Moscow, 1997.

20. Vladimir Kutakov, "Russia offers Six-Party Discussion Format in Northeast Asia," ITAR-TASS, October 1, 2002.

21. Kun-Young Park, "Bush Administration's East Asia Policy," State Strategy, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2001.

22. Combined military expenditures of the East Asian nations reached $U.S.165 billion in the beginning of the 21st century, twice as much as in 1990. The Asian share in military purchases from the U.S. military producers rose from 10 percent to 25 percent of U.S. arms exports.

23. For nuclear armament and capability of Northeast Asian countries, see Alexei Arbatov and Vasily Mikheev, _______ _______________ _ ______-__________ ____ (Nuclear proliferation in Northeast Asia), Moscow: Moscow Carnegie Center, 2005.

24. Vasily Mikheev, "Multilateral Approaches to Peace Building in Northeast Asia: Cooperation-Security Strategy," Proceedings of 2005 KAIS International Conference, Non-Governmental Six Party Talks on Cooperation in Northeast Asia: Issues and Agenda, Seoul, Korea, October 6-7, 2005.

25.__________ ________ ________ ____________ __________, ________________ _______ (Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation Diplomaticheskii Vestnik), ______ (Diplomatic Messenger), No. 8, August 2000.

26. Vladimir Tkachenko, 2000; "North-South Summit and Russia-North Korea Relations," KIEP World Economy, Vol. 3, No. 7, 2000.

27. Bom-Sik Sin, "________ ______ _ _________ ___________ ___________ __ _____ 2-___ ______________ _________ _________ ______ _ ___ ________ ___ __________ _____" ("Russian Policy Towards the Korean Peninsula at the Time of the Second Term of President Vladimir Putin and Its Significance for the Republic of Korea), Korean Slavic Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2004, pp. 675-710.

28. Daehan Maeil Daily, February 19, 2001.

29. G. D. Toloraya, "______-__________ _____: _____ _______ _ _____" ("Russia-Republic of Korea: After the Summit of Seoul), ________ ________ _______ (Problems of the Far East), No. 2, 2001, pp. 14-19.

30. Alexandre Y. Mansourov, "Russian President Putin's Policy towards East Asia," The Journal of East Asian Affairs, Vol. XV, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2001, pp. 42-71.

31. ______ _______ ______ _________ ____________ ________ ____________ _________ (Resume of the Report of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation), "_________ ________ ______ _ ___ _ 21-__ ____" [__ ______ _____________ ______________ ______]) ("Strategy for the Development of Russia in the APR [Asia-Pacific Region] in the 21st Century [According to the Proceedings of the Baikal Economic Forum]), from

32. Bom-Sik Sin, 2004. Besides, there are other economic policy goals such as the redemption of the North Korean bond, the promotion of North-South-Russian triangular cooperation to repair North Korean industrial facilities that the Soviet Union had built, the construction of a natural gas pipeline that goes all the way across the Korean peninsula, and South Korea's participation in the free economic zone project for foreign companies in Russia's Far East.

33. Putin's security cooperation with North Korea focuses more on the "political security cooperation" for deterring U.S. hegemonic behaviors and strengthening its geostrategic position on the Korean peninsula than the "military security cooperation" for providing high-tech weapons. For example, when Kim Jong- il visited Russia, Russia agreed with North Korea regarding observance of ABM, opposition of MD, North Korea's insistence on the withdrawal of U.S. troops in South Korea, and the emphasis on the peaceful purpose of North Korea's missile development, but there was no military agreement on sales of high-tech weapons. Russia's reluctance for military security cooperation with North Korea is due to the North's inability to pay and Russia's intention not to provoke the South.

34. G.D. Bulychev, "__________ ________ ______: _______ ____________," ("Russia's Korea Policy: An Attempt at Schematization,"), Problemy Dal'nego Vostoka (Problems of the Far East), No. 2, 2000.

35. ITAR-TASS, January 19, 2003.

36. _. V. Vorontosov, "______ ____________" ("The War of the Compromises"), 2003, in

37. ______ _ ___: 2003 (Russia and the World 2003), Foundation for Prospective Studies and Initiative, 2002 in www.psifoundation. ru/en/publications/russia-003/excerpts_from_the_report.html; www.

38. In the earlier stages, nuclear weapons were considered by North Korean rulers as an additional factor in the regional military balance on the Korean peninsula. Now, after the overthrow by the United States and the Western coalition of regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq through the use of military means, nuclear weapons start to be perceived as a "last resort guarantee" for the preservation of the North Korean regime in the global correlation of forces. See Alexander Nikitin, "Changing Priorities of the Russian Foreign Policy and New Mechanisms for Security in Eurasia," The First KPSA-RPSA/MGIMO Joint Annual Conference Proceeding, Korean-Russian Cooperation for Peace and Prosperity in Northeast Asia, Seoul, Korea: Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), November 30-December 1, 2005.

39. Izvestiya, January 20, 2003.

40. "__ ______ ______ _ ______ ____________ _________ ____________ _________ ___ __ ____" ("On the Results of the Visit to Moscow of M. Strong, the Special Emissary of the General Secretary of the UN, With Regard to the Korean People's Democratic Republic") _______, _.: Informational Bulletin of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 546-06-03- 2003.

41. Vremya Novostei, January 20, 2003.

42. On this difference, see Alexander Zhebin, "The Bush Doctrine and Russia: A Great Discord," Asian Perspective, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2003, pp. 147-181.

43. New York Times, April 12, 2003.

44. Segyeilbo, June 14, 2003.

45. Tadashi Ito, "PRC Source Cited on Putin Rejecting Kim Chong-Il's Request to Host Talks in Russia," Sankei Shimbun, September 9, 2003.

46. On North Korea's nuclear development capabilities, see Larry A. Niksch, "North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program," CRS Issue Brief for Congress, June 9, 2003; Alexandre Y. Mansourov, "The Origins, Evolution, and Current Politics of the North Korean Nuclear Programs," The Nonproliferation Review, Spring-Summer 1995, pp. 25-38; S. A. Letun, "The North's Capability of Developing Nuclear Weapons: Russian Perspectives and Prospect," presentation paper at the 4th Korea-Russia Defense Conference co-hosted by Korean Defense Institute and Military Academy of Russian Federation, Seoul, Korea, November 27, 2003.

47. Even with regard to North Korea's announcement of nuclear possession in 2005, Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Duma Committee on Foreign Relations, stated that it cannot be verified, and Russian scholars believe that North Korea's announcement is designed to get as much from the United States as possible. According to the author's interview with Russia's Korean and military experts, North Korea does not possess nuclear weapons that the United States may have to worry about. This is one of the most important differences between the United States and Russia.

48. Haksoon Paik, "What is the Goal of the U.S. Policy toward North Korea: Nonproliferation or Regime Change?" at www., May 8, 2005.

49. Oleg Zhunusov, Elena Shesternina, "If Tomorrow There Is a War That in Two to Three Hours' Time Involves Vladivostok," Izvestiya, August 1, 2003.

50. Oleg Zhunusov, D. Litovkin, "There Is Legend: State of Emergency Has Been Introduced," Izvestiya, August 22, 2003.

51. Seung-Ho Joo, "Russian Strategy for 6 Party Talks on North Korean Nuclear Crisis," Kookbang Yeongoo, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2004, pp. 95-96.

52. Cf. John Gerald Ruggie, "Multilateralism: The Anatomy of an Institution," International Organization, Vol. 46, 1992, pp. 561- 598.

53. V.P. Tkachenko, "________ ________ ____________ ________ _ _____" ("The Basic Elements of Russian policy in Korea"), _______ ________ ______ _ ___ (Russian Foreign Policy in Northeast Asia), Seoul: Hankook University for Foreign Languages, 2002, p. 13.

54. Nikitin.

55. The Joint Statement at the fourth round talks on September 19, 2005, can be evaluated as the agreement of "word-for-word" for the next agreement of "action-for-action."

56. For the possibility of such grand deal, see Michael O'Hanlon and Mike M. Mocizuki, Crisis on the Korean Peninsula: How to Deal with A Nuclear North Korea, New York: Mcgraw Hill, 2003, Ch. 3.

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