We all know the relationship between the USA and North Korea and how the two presidents keep threatening each other. I know that the majority of the EU stands with Trump in this matter, but do we know how Vladimir Putin and Russia views North Korea? Are Russia and North Korea allies? Enemies? Neutral?

  • 3
    There is a Wikipedia entry on this topic.
    – janh
    Dec 27, 2017 at 14:38
  • Thank you @janh the article is very interesting, however, it doesn't state the situation after the election of Trump, we know that the relationship between Poutin and Trump is, hum let's say based on respect, which make the situation a little bit unclear for me...
    – Dhon Joe
    Dec 27, 2017 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


North Korea has a history of good economic, if not diplomatic, ties with Russia stretching back to the Soviet era. To call them allies today would be inaccurate, but Russia has a vested economic interest in finding a diplomatic solution to the current tension in the Korean peninsula.

Russia has supported the most recent UN resolution for greater sanctions on North Korea following bomb tests, but has also said it would be willing to mediate talks between North Korea and its stated enemies. The current sanctions limit the amount of energy that can be legally exported to North Korea, and Russia would like the tensions to be resolved so they could export more energy (though allegedly they are still trading under the table) and also so that Russia would have an easier path to trade with South Korea.

So to answer your question they are neutral but Russia, similarly to China, is doing its best to unwind tensions while still condemning nuclear tests so that it can resume larger trade with North Korea.

  • 1
    Good answer, but I doubt that bit : also so that Russia would have an easier path to trade with South Korea. Even in case of a huge de-escalation in Korea, it will still be a very far shot before Russai-SK trade can cross NK territory...
    – Evargalo
    May 2, 2018 at 9:30
  • Vladivostok is close to South Korea and there are many container ships going between these two places. I am not sure the ease of tensions with North Korea would change much.
    – Taladris
    Jul 7, 2020 at 1:18

While the relationship between North Korea and so far stably neutral as stated by the other answer, perceptions of North Korea are changing in the modern age. According to a 2014 BBC poll, only 19% of Russians view North Korea positively, 37% are negative towards the nation, and the rest are neutral. Also, Russia in 2016 supported UN sanctions against North Korea after their nuclear tests, with Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov saying "the Kremlin is concerned over North Korea's statements about its readiness to use nuclear forces and urges all states to display restraint". That being said, they still trade and in 2014, there was an agreement to write off 90% of North Korea's debt to Russia, so only time will tell of the relations between Russia and North Korea will remain somewhat stable.

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