Russia Opens Passenger And Cargo Shipping Service With North Korea – OpEd

Ignoring US calls for isolating North Korea in order to force Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear program, Russia and North Korea yesterday opened a new shipping route between Vladivostok and the North Korean port of Rajin that will carry both passengers and cargo (interfax.ru/world/562791).

A 193-passenger 1500 ton North Korean ship will make weekly trips between the two countries, and Russian commentators are already celebrating this action as the latest Russian challenge to American pretensions in the region and Washington’s calls to isolate North Korea (svegienovosti.mirtesen.ru/blog/43298332494/Rossiya-demonstrativno-proignorirovala-zapret-SSHA).

In the words of Nil Protasov, “the opening of this new route between Russia and North Korea is in fact a challenge to Washington whose [Congressional] legislators broadened the authority of the US to include monitoring” of Russian ports as part of the West’s sanctions regime against Pyongyang.

According to him, “Russia warned the Americans about the inevitability of armed conflict if any efforts are made to control Russian ports. The launching of a new route is a clear signal from Moscow: no one has the right to dictate its will to a sovereign country.”

Russian officials have called for talks with North Korea rather than additional sanctions of efforts at isolation (svpressa.ru/politic/news/172692/), and new polls show that a significant share of the Russian population backs the right of countries like North Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons despite what the West and non-proilferation accords say.

A VTsIOM poll released earlier this week showed that 41 percent of Russians take that position (rbc.ru/society/16/05/2017/591a90ba9a7947334e200a74?from=main).

Paul Goble

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “Russia Opens Passenger And Cargo Shipping Service With North Korea – OpEd

  • May 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm
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    What a relieve,Paul Goble this time wrote the truth. Those who never lived in the Eastern bloc countries and same would apply to those who never lived in the Western hemisphere would have different views from each other.Having lived in both,I guess I can separate both ideologies.The problem that still exists is arms Lobbyists and the domination of the dollar.

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