Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Expert: Moscow Has No Instruments to Influence North Korean Leader

At present, Moscow has no instruments to influence North Korean Secretary General Kim Jong-il, Vadim Tkachenko, head of the Centre for Korean Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Far Eastern Institute, said at a Thursday press conference devoted to "the Iraq war and prospects of settling the situation in the Korean Peninsula".

Vadim Tkachenko recalled that according to the current intergovernmental agreement, Russia could only consult the North Korean party. Russia cannot render direct military support to North Korea as had been envisaged by the former agreement between North Korea and the USSR.

"We could influence North Korean policy if we could guarantee security of North Korea," Vadim Tkachenko said.

Moreover, the expert stressed, economic co-operation between Russia and North Korea is not that close. According to him, the turnover between the countries amounts to $115 mln annually that makes up 5-6 per cent of North Korea's foreign trade while in South Korea and Japan these figures are four or six times as high.

"Even the figures of the U.S. trade with North Korea are higher," Vadim Tkachenko said.

According to the expert, to have more influence on the North Korean authorities in settling particular issues, Russia must closely co-operate with North Korea in many political and economic fields.