First Ever Russia/North Korea Summit
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Thursday, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un met in Vladivostok, Russia’s Far East for first ever summit talks between leaders of both countries. More on this below.
Firming up ties with Russia is important for the DPRK at a time talks with the US accomplished nothing because its authorities don’t negotiate. They demand.
Russia pursues world peace, stability, mutual cooperation with other nations, and multi-world polarity.
The US seeks unchallenged global dominance, demanding other countries subordinate their sovereign rights to its interests – why diplomatic outreach to its ruling authorities is a waste of time.
Washington breaches virtually all agreements made. Rare exceptions prove the rule. Throughout its post-WW II history, US hostility toward North Korea’s sovereign independence has been unbending.
When summits or other bilateral talks are held between Washington and ruling authorities of nations it doesn’t control, one-sided unacceptable demands are made in return for hollow promises.
Time and again whatever is agreed on unravels, what North Korea understands well – earlier following a 1994 Agreed Framework, breached by Bush/Cheney, again after Pyongyang pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” in 2005.
Washington breached earlier agreements, not Pyongyang – eager for rapprochement and normalized relations, what the US consistently rejected.
Hostility and betrayal defined US policy toward North Korea throughout its post-WW II history. Nothing in prospect suggests Trump regime officials intend turning a new page, just the opposite.
Two Kim Jong-Un/Trump summits achieved virtually nothing toward stepping back from the brink on the Korean peninsula toward regional peace, stability, and normalized bilateral relations.
Will a third summit fare better? It takes a giant leap of faith to believe the most extremist regime in US history will negotiate in good faith with Pyongyang or any other countries.
North Korea knows what it’s up against. Late February summit talks broke down in Hanoi because of unacceptable one-way US demands unlikely to soften ahead.
Following talks, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said “(w)e have no intention to yield to the (one-sided) US demands in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind,” adding:
Pompeo and Bolton “created the atmosphere of hostility and mistrust and, therefore, obstructed the constructive effort for negotiations between the supreme leaders of North Korea and the United States.”
Last July, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry accused Pompeo of pursuing “unilateral and gangster-like demands for denuclearization.”
Days earlier, Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry called Pompeo “reckless,” wanting him replaced if future talks are held.
He’s “still in charge” of the US team in talks with the DPRK, he stressed – adamant about controlling dealings with the DPRK, assuring failure as long as he and other Trump regime hardliners are involved.
Since failure in Hanoi, there’s been little contact between officials of both countries. One-way Trump regime demands are firm, rejecting even a slight easing of toughness toward Pyongyang.
Pompeo and Bolton are key obstacles to good faith bilateral talks, opposing improvement in bilateral relations, wanting North Korea subjugated as a US vassal state – why virtually nothing positive between both countries is likely ahead.
Chairman Kim’s summit with Putin sends a message to Trump regime hardliners. North Korea has an alternative option – dealing with Russia over talks with the US going nowhere no matter how many more Kim/Trump summits occur.
Chairman Kim was warmly greeted by Russian officials on arrival in Vladivostok. According to Putin aide Yuri Ushakov, summit talks will focus largely on efforts to step back from the brink on the Korean peninsula, along with related issues.
Senior officials of both countries are involved. For Russia, they include Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Transport Minister Yevgeny Dietrich, Russian-North Korean intergovernmental commission co-chair Alexander Kozlov, Russian Railways Head Oleg Belozerov, and Deputy Minister of Energy Anatoly Yanovsky.
North Korean officials include Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, People’s Army commander General Ri Yong Gil, Workers’ Party of Korea (KWP) Central Committee Secretary Kim Phyong Hae, and KWP Vice Chairman O Su Yong.
On Thursday during summit talks, Chairman Kim thanked Vladimir Putin, saying:
“I am very happy to meet with you, Mr. President, and with Russian friends, (extending) warm greetings on behalf of (his) government and people,” adding”
“I’ve come to Russia to exchange views on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula, which is now one of the most pressing issues of the international agenda, to discuss ways of peaceful settlement of this issue, and also to exchange views on developing our bilateral relations in line with demands of the new century.”
“Mr. President, we have just had a very substantive exchange of views tete-a-tete on the issues of mutual interests and pressing issues. I would like to thank you for time I spent with great pleasure. I hope that our negotiations will similarly continue in a useful and constructive way.”
Putin said the following:
“We have just had very substantive tete-a-tete talks. We have managed to discuss the history of our interstate relations. We have discussed their current state, about prospects for the development of bilateral ties,” adding:
“We have, of course, addressed the situation on the Korean Peninsula. We have exchanged views on how and what should be done so that this situation has good prospects for improvement.”
“I am confident that your current visit to Russia will contribute to the development of bilateral relations and help us better understand the ways to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support those positive processes that are taking place today.”
Diplomatic relations between both countries were established in 1948. Commenting on his visit to North Korea in 2000, Putin said “I remember my visit to your country. Your father was one of the initiators of signing a fundamental treaty — the treaty of friendship between our countries.”
Putin noted that plans for the current summit were in the works for some time. It comes when prospects for improved DPRK/US relations are virtually nil.
Cooperative relations between Russia and North Korea are important to counter hostility toward the DPRK by Trump regime hardliners.
Most important is preventing conflict on the Korean peninsula, along with aiding Pyongyang economically and politically.
Unilaterally imposed US sanctions are flagrantly illegal — what Russia and China should counter through normalized relations, along with working toward eliminating all sanctions on the DPRK.
Throughout its history, it never attacked or threatened another country, what the US does repeatedly.
The DPRK seeks normalized relations with regional nations, the US-led West, and world community – what Washington prevented throughout the post-WW II era.
Its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are solely for defense because of genuinely fearing possible US aggression – having experienced its destructive power in the early 1950s, wanting no repeat of that devastating time.
Bolton earlier said that the only way to end North Korea’s nuclear program is “to end (the) regime,” adding:
“It’s not enough…to impose sanctions,” falsely claiming Pyongyang’s ruling authorities pose “a threat to stability in the region that undermines security.”
Kim/Trump summit talks failed because Pompeo and Bolton sabotaged them.
Reaching accommodation with Trump regime hardliners is an unattainable objective – based on their belligerent actions toward all sovereign independent governments, notably Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, spurning diplomatic relations with their ruling authorities, wanting them toppled and replaced by US-controlled puppet regimes, wanting the DPRK co-opted in similar fashion.
The most sensible option for its ruling authorities is turning to Russia, along with China – turning away from the US.
Bilateral talks never worked, nor will they as long as hardline extremists control Washington’s geopolitical agenda.
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