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Russia, China, and the Korean Peninsula
Published August 18, 2014
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Korea traditionally occupies an important place in Russia’s foreign policy directed at Asia. That was the case at the turn of the twentieth century and in the Soviet period. In the first years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia pursued a one-sided course oriented to the West; however, soon geopolitical and geo-economic realities obliged it to become active in Asia. This reorientation was tied both to global tendencies, above all the shift in the center of world politics and economics to the Asia-Pacific region, and to disappointment with the Western approach, characterized by a lack of understanding and hostility. These general tendencies were not slow to make an impact on Russia’s approach to the Korean Peninsula. A course was chosen to forge normal partnership relations with both Korean governments. This occurred against the background of rapidly improving relations with China. Thus, from the outset in the second half of the 1990s, there was a triangular element to Russia’s thinking on how to deal with the divided Korean Peninsula in the context of its Asian policies.

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