Executive Intelligence Review


Putin Discusses the Korea Settlement in China Media Group Interview

June 6, 2018 (EIRNS)—In a wide-ranging interview today with the China Media Group ahead of his official visit to China, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the settlement on the Korean Peninsula must include guarantees of North Korea’s security, while he offered Russia’s help in joint infrastructure and economic projects between North Korea and South Korea. “We will be waiting for the outcome of the meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and will contribute to the success of this meeting in every possible way,” Putin said, reported TASS. Putin will make his visit when he goes to attend the June 8-10 Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao.

“The next stage is multilateral participation of all the interested states, chiefly regional ones, in the development of security guarantees” for North Korea, Putin said. He affirmed that Moscow’s proposals—“trilateral economic projects between Russia and the northern and southern parts of the Korean Peninsula”—will be on the table.

“These are chiefly infrastructural projects. We are talking about the construction of a railroad, let’s say (and, by the way, China could join these projects as well), between Russia and North and South Korea. We are talking about the installation of a gas pipeline,”

the Russian President elaborated.

“The construction of various other energy facilities could be dwelt on as well. There are numerous prospects for joint work both in the three- and four-party format; it is just necessary to move in this direction,”

the Russian leader affirmed.

Putin also expressed hope that the June 12 meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would be a success:

“I do hope that the courageous and mature decision to hold a personal meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that U.S. President Trump made ... that the meeting will take place, we all will be waiting for it to produce positive results....

“We can see that the North Korean leadership has taken unprecedented steps to ease tensions, which frankly speaking, surprised me,”

he said. “First, they announced the suspension of nuclear tests. Moreover, they dismantled one of their largest nuclear test sites.” In his view, “these undoubtedly were practical steps towards denuclearization.”

He continued: “I can understand the North Korean authorities when they say that total denuclearization requires absolute security guarantees,” and that

“nothing else is possible, particularly in light of the tragic events that took place in Libya and Iraq. The North Koreans must remember it all vividly, so it is only natural that they demand guarantees,”

Putin stressed, stating that

“it is hard to say at the moment what form these guarantees may take and how long it will take to implement all this.

“However, it is possible to say—and it should be said—that there is a need to move forward along this path leading to easing of tensions and denuclearization.”

Referencing Russia and China’s role in resolving peace on the Korean Peninsula, he said:

“We initiated the so-called road map to resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula. China has done a lot recently to achieve this goal, to ease tensions a little. We are pleased to see it and will continue to support it in every possible way.”

The Russian-Chinese road map “implies that at the next stage relations between all the countries responsible for easing tensions should be enhanced,” he said.