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South Korea-North Korea-Russia trilateral cooperation:for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula

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North Korea’s nuclear development plans and missile tests led to a state of acute tension in 2017, escalating the risk of war. The tense situation took a sharp turn following the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, followed by two inter-Korean summit meetings and the first in history meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the United States. These developments have improved relations between the two Koreas and are leading to substantial talks toward the denuclearization of North Korea.


  On April 27, 2018, the leaders of the two Koreas met for the first summit talks in 11 years, culminating in the Panmunjom Declaration in which they agreed on the dramatic improvement and development of inter-Korean relations, elimination of military tension and mutual non-aggression, and complete denuclearization and establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. In the second inter-Korean summit of the year held on May 27, 2018, the two leaders reached a consensus to work closely toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a permanent peace regime. he South and North held inter-Korean high-level talks on June 1, in which it was agreed to establish a joint liaison office in Gaeseong, North Korea, and practical measures to implement the Panmumjom Declaration were discussed. South Korea becoming a full member of the Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) on June 7, 2018, was an important development as well. Despite seeking full membership to the Organization since 2015, the South had hitherto been blocked by North Korea’s veto votes.


  The virtuous cycle that began with these improvements in inter-Korean relations was continued with the first U.S.-North Korea summit in history. The leaders of North Korea and the U.S. met on June 12, 2018, in Singapore, releasing a joint statement agreeing to establish a new bilateral relationship, build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and to make joint efforts toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Chairman Kim Jong Un reconfirmed his commitment to the agreements made within the Panmunjom Declaration and pledged to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The historic summit between the two leaders was followed by subsequent measures on the part of North Korea – such as the release of three U.S. citizens, repatriation of U.S. soldiers’ remains, and the closure of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site and dismantlement of the Sohae engine missile testing site in Tongchang-ri – in return for which it called on the U.S. to lift North Korean sanctions and formally end the Korean War. The U.S., on the other hand, is maintaining its position that North Korea must first begin substantial measures toward complete denuclearization, and that the lifting of sanctions can only be considered after major progress has been seen toward denuclearization. The U.S. is particularly keen on securing a list from North Korea outlining its nuclear arsenal, and is yet to make its position clear on the issue of an end-of-war declaration, instead focusing on both talks and pressure tactics toward North Korea.


  When considering the delicate situation currently unfolding between the three nations following the summit meetings, it is clear that the Moon Jae-in government in South Korea must play a crucial role. However, inter-Korean relations are mired in complications caused by North Korea’s nuclear program and U.S. sanctions against North Korea, making it difficult to realize any substantial progress in economic cooperation projects with the North. As of yet, the New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula and the New Northern Policy, initiatives announced by the Moon administration, remain at the initial stage of planning. But as President Moon stressed in the August 15 Liberation Day speech, peace is vital to economic development on the Korean Peninsula, and the New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula and New Northern Policy must be recognized as foundation-building efforts to resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue once and for all. In his Liberation Day speech President Moon emphasized that “establishing peace and forming an economic community on the Korean Peninsula is the actual realization of our liberation,” and that “developing relations between the two Koreas is the true driving force behind denuclearization of the Peninsula.” These sentiments carry the message that inter-Korean economic cooperation is an inevitable and essential means to reconstruct the virtuous cycle between the three parties through the third inter-Korean summit in September 2018, followed by nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea, and another North Korea–U.S. summit meeting scheduled to take place. During his speech President Moon also proposed an East Asian railway community, demonstrating how the New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula will lead to economic cooperation with economies toward the north of Korea, strengthening connectivity with the Eurasian continent.


  As such, the New Economic Map for the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula must be accompanied by a recognition for the geopolitical and geoeconomic value of the Russian Far East region. When North Korea begins its process of reform and opening up and economic cooperation projects between the two Koreas resume, the Russian Far East will rise as a key point for economic cooperation between Korea and its neighbors to the north. This would also open up more opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation in hand with Russia’s development strategies in the Far East region, between the two Koreas and Russia. The Russian Far East region is strategically significant in that it connects with the Korean Peninsula, thus serving as a starting point for economic cooperation between Russia and the two Koreas and offering a bridgehead for the Korean economy to extend its growth. The Russian Far East region is also essential for the eastern axis of the New Economic Map for the Korean Peninsula, which involves forming inter-local cooperation in the East Sea region and developing the Northern Sea Route.


  There is no doubt that trilateral economic cooperation projects between the two Koreas and Russia will benefit South and North Korea and contribute to South Korea-Russia relations, while driving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in an irreversible direction. Such cooperation projects would also make it possible to realize peace and mutual prosperity on the Korean Peninsula while strengthening connectivity with Eurasian nations. Ultimately, trilateral cooperation projects will add substantial momentum to Korea realizing its future vision of a “bridge country” that connects the ocean and continent, and to Russia gaining a strategic foothold to develop its Far East region and advance into the Asia-Pacific area.


  Russia is not a major presence in the ongoing talks between South and North Korea, the U.S. and China for the denuclearization of North Korea. However, when we recognize the limitations of producing a solution to the North Korean nuclear issue only within the framework of diplomatic security talks, it becomes clear that the Russian Far East represents great strategic value, and that trilateral cooperation projects between Russia and the two Koreas deserve much more recognition for their significance. On April 29, 2018, Russian President Putin stated the need for the progress realized through the inter-Korean summits to be continued through trilateral cooperation projects with Russia. President Putin also stressed how connecting Russia’s railways, gas pipes and power supply into Siberia through the Korean Peninsula would contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Peninsula. During his visit to Moscow in June 2018, President Moon reached a consensus with President Putin on how trilateral economic cooperation would create a virtuous cycle of furthering peace on the Korean Peninsula and promoting economic cooperation, and how this must be further developed into a multilateral security regime in Northeast Asia. If cooperation between the two Koreas and Russia could vitalize multilateral cooperation schemes with the U.S., China and Japan, this would add crucial momentum to the mutual prosperity and permanent peace of Northeast Asia.


  This volume contains the results of joint research conducted by Korean and Russian experts, focusing on the following objectives. First, we wish to illustrate the need for trilateral economic cooperation within the changing political situation on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asian region, through which it will become possible to pursue mutual prosperity within the region and establish a foundation for permanent peace. Our second goal is to perform an in-depth study of the perceptions and situations on each side in regard to South Korea–North Korea–Russia cooperation, through which we can identify the basic directions, tasks and strategies to promote cooperation between the three parties. This approach is particularly timely and significant on an academic level when it comes to identifying strategic connections between Korea’s New Northern Policy and Russia’s New Eastern Policy, and to realize qualitative development in South Korea–Russia relations. Finally, we wish to offer important policy implications for the Korean government as it implements its New Northern Policy and the New Economic Map for the Korean Peninsula, and help produce measures to expand economic cooperation between Korea and Russia in the Russian Far East.


內容簡介來源:

Contents


ⅠIntroductionⅠ


Political Changes on the Korean Peninsula and the


Significance of Trilateral Cooperation between South


Korea, North Korea, Russia 10


Lee Jae-Young


President, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)


Korean and Russian Perspectives on Trilateral


Cooperation between South Korea, North


Korea, Russia


Korean Perspectives ❚


01 New Opportunities for and Approaches to the Trilateral


Cooperation between the ROK, DPRK and the Russian


Federation 20


Kim Seok Hwan


Visiting Research Fellow, KIEP


Park Joungho


Director General, New Northern Policy Department, KIEP


02 Key Challenges of the Trilateral Cooperation and its


Action Plan 42


Kim Seok Hwan


Visiting Research Fellow, KIEP


Park Joungho


Director General, New Northern Policy Department, KIEP


Russian Perspectives ❚


03 North Korea-Russia Relations and Overview of the


Prospect of Trilateral Cooperation by Areas 74


Pavel A. Minakir


Director emeritus, Economic Research Institute, Far Eastern Branch of


the Russian Academy of Sciences


04 Interrelation between the North Korea-Russia Cooperation


and the Trilateral Cooperation 103


Vasily V. Mikheev


Vice President, Institute of World Economy and International Relations


(IMEMO)


05 New Developments in the North Korean Nuclear Issue


and the Trilateral Cooperation between the ROK,


DPRK and the Russian Federation 124


Sergey A. Karaganov


Dean, Faculty of World Economics and International Relations, National


Research University-Higher School of Economics


Natalia Kim


Associate Professor, School of Asian Studies, National Research


University-Higher School of Economics


ⅠConclusionⅠ


Policy Recommendations to Promote Trilateral


Cooperation between the Two Koreas and Russia 150


Lee Jae-Young


President, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)


ⅠReferencesⅠ 158


ⅠAppendixⅠ


Developments related to Trilateral Cooperation between


the Two Koreas and Russia 172

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