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Why Russia, Iran seek deeper ties with North Korea

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Russia for a two-day summit to discuss bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean peninsula. The summit was moderately successful. Both leaders expressed their satisfaction with the talks, a world of difference from the February US-North Korea nuclear summit in Vietnam that collapsed, with both sides blaming each other for the summit’s failure.

Iran on Sunday announced that it also plans to organize a high-level meeting with North Korea. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is planning to travel to the country in the near future.

Analyst identify different motivations that lie behind the Russian and Iranian interest in North Korea. While Russia is out to increase its political and economic influence in Northeast Asia, Iran is drawn to North Korea because it too is subject to stringent US sanctions, which means that both countries stand to benefit from various forms of political and economic cooperation.

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OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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