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The View from Russia

At a Russo-Korean summit in August 2011 Kim Jong-il announced his willingness to resume the Six-Party Talks without preconditions, i.e. no denuclearization or apologies. He also accepted Moscow’s long-standing idea of a trans-Korean gas pipeline from Siberia through the DPRK to the ROK that would give North Korea $100 million annually once it opened in 2017 while it shipped ten BCM annually to South Korea for thirty years. Kim also agreed to establish a commission to explore the possibility of building this pipeline. Subsequently, the two Koreas have started separate discussions with the Russians about the pipeline. Moscow also joined in joint naval search and rescue operations and is discussing forgiving up to 90% of Pyongyang’s debts, if not the whole amount of about $11 billion. The century long dream of a Trans-Siberian and Trans-Korean railway (TSR-TKR) looms in many discussions of future relations.

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