DPRK in an era of Great Power realignment
Most people will not have missed the visit North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, to Russia last month. What went without comment was the significance of the realignment with Moscow and not Beijing. As the first foreign visit after three years of self-imposed pandemic national lockdown, the message was very clear: The Russia-Hermit Kingdom relationship is important. Russia needs ammunition and rockets for its on going war in Ukraine; the North Korean shopping list is more varied. It already has the diplomatic support needed at the UN and food aid continues to be delivered, so the cost to Russia is more likely to be material and knowledge based – satellite and military technologies trump that list. Nuclear demands probably are lower down since it appears that DPRK is already making preparations for its 5th test (under Kim Jung Un). What is a good response for Taiwan and the US? This was the question for Ankit Panda to ponder.