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New strategy after the treaty in Pyongyang

July 1, 2024

SEOUL – On June 19, North Korea and Russia signed a historic partnership treaty in Pyongyang. The strategic and comprehensive treaty exceeded general predictions and was evaluated as restoring the military alliance. The restoration of the alliances drew keen attention from major media worldwide as it shook the strategic balance around the Korean Peninsula. A controversial topic of South Korea’s nuclear armament has been revived in Seoul and Washington. The South Korean government also strongly condemned North Korea and Russia and warned that it would consider providing weapons assistance to Ukraine in response to Russia’s actions, leading to heated debates over the smart response.

We need to respond sophisticatedly to the treaty, and it would be foolish to lose a cool-headed attitude and adopt a wrong response that means self-harm. If the wrong response in diplomacy and security causes secondary damage, it shows that Seoul is distracted and teased by the psychological warfare from North Korea and Russia. In this sense, efforts should be made to reduce the confusion about the meaning and impact of the North Korea-Russia Treaty.

First, the Yoon Suk Yeol government needs to identify the damages of the treaty regarding South Korea’s diplomatic environment and take measures to compensate for the change or loss. Since the end of the Cold War, the Republic of Korea has established positive relations with Russia and sought cooperation. Russia has approved the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions to impose sanctions on North Korea 11 times since 2006. Russia was in a neutral zone but has moved to a pro-North Korea zone.

On the other hand, Russia’s mutual defense agreement with North Korea reflects a