Russia Promises to Exert Influence on North Korea

Russia Is Increasingly North Korea's Source of Oil

One of only a handful of nations with substantial ties to the reclusive state of North Korea, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday that they intend to exert their influence on the nation to try to get them to negotiate.

Russia has been exporting growing amounts of oil to North Korea, amid US efforts to further isolate them. The exports particularly give Russia a lot of leverage on North Korea, since there are very few alternate sources of them.

This might be a particularly opportune time, as North Korea has said recently that they are ready to negotiate on their nuclear program, but only if Russia is involved in the talks. This would ensure Russia a place at the table.

The big question though is the willingness of the US to engage in public diplomacy with North Korea, as subtle behind-the-scenes negotiations of the type the US has done exclusively in recent months clearly wouldn’t work with third parties involved.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.