While the West and China refuse to deal with the Hermit Kingdom, Russia has no problem using diplomacy and economic maneuvers to ease relations with North Korea. Anyone who watches VICE knows that the Russians and North Koreans have had deals in the past, continuing their relationship established during the Cold War. The West would be wise to use softer hands with regards to North Korea. Something in Bush 2.0 admitting after leaving office.
Well, while the U.S. continues to screw up relations, Russia is giving North Korea a break:
“Russia’s parliament has agreed to write off almost $10 billion of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt, in a deal expected to facilitate the building of a gas pipeline (and railway) to South Korea across the reclusive state.
Russia has written off debts to a number of impoverished Soviet-era allies, including Cuba. North Korea’s struggling communist economy is just 2 percent of the size of neighbouring South Korea’s.
The State Duma lower house on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea’s debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012.
The rest of the debt, $1.09 billion, would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal installments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia’s state development bank, Vnesheconombank.”