Russian Policy and the Korean Crisis

  • September 01, 1994
  • Dr Stephen J Blank

North Korea's nuclear program is the greatest current threat to U.S. and Northeast Asian security. The outcome of negotiations over this program will have a tremendous impact on the future of the Korean peninsula and on the vital interests of the United States and neighboring states to North and South Korea: China, Japan, and Russia. Bearing this in mind, the Center for Strategic and International Studies convened a conference on June 28-29, 1994, to consider the crisis surrounding North Korea's nuclear program in its international context. Experts spoke about the program and its impact on the two Koreas and on the neighboring states. Professor Stephen Blank presented this paper on Russian policy with regard to Korea. Dr. Blank relates Moscow's position on the issues of North Korean nuclearization to the broader domestic debate in Russia over security policy, in general, and Asian policy, in particular. He contends that Russia's policy is a function of that broader debate and must be understood in that context.