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Article

Russia-ASEAN relations and North Korean nuclear issue

Russian International Affairs Council. 2012.

The set of problems relating to nuclear weapons allegedly being developed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has traditionally been a major factor militating against the generally cooperative development paradigm of Asia-Pacific. Much time and energy have been injected into the Six-Party Talks but to date they appear to have demonstrated a low degree of effectiveness. Based on the premise that any result, however modest it may be, must initially be regarded in a positive way new mechanisms to reinvigorate these negotiations are urgently needed.

At this point, a potential contribution of cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Russian Federation as a new factor of Asia-Pacific stability deserves special attention. The study of whether and how it can influence the evolution of the North Korean nuclear problem seems to be a timely exercise.

The paper consists of three parts. Part One assesses the impact of the stalemate in the Six-Party Talks on Russia’s interests and outlines a number of nuances in its approach to these negotiations. Part Two specifies the North Korean nuclear problem in ASEAN’s order of international priority and overviews recent trends in ASEAN’s relations with DPRK. Part Three provides insights into how cooperation between Russia and ASEAN can strengthen the overall cooperative potential in Asia-Pacific. In conclusion, recommendations with regard to North Korea’s nuclear issue are offered.