TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Putin pivots to Asia, especially N. Korea

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:06 p.m.
 

TOKYO — Angry with the West's response over Ukraine and eager to diversify its options, Russia is moving rapidly to bolster ties with North Korea in a diplomatic nose-thumbing that could complicate the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons program.

Russia's proactive strategy in Asia, which involves cozying up to China and has been dubbed “Putin's Pivot,” began years ago as Moscow's answer to Washington's much-touted alliance-building and rebalancing of its military forces in the Pacific. But it has gained a new sense of urgency since the unrest in Ukraine — and Pyongyang is already getting a big windfall with high-level political exchanges and promises from Russia of trade and development projects.

Moscow's overtures to North Korea reflect both a defensive distancing from the EU and Washington because of their sanctions over Ukraine and a broader, long-term effort by Russia to strengthen its hand in Asia by building political alliances, expanding energy exports and developing Russian regions in Siberia and the Far East.

For North Korea, the timing couldn't be better.

Better ties with Russia could provide a much needed economic boost, a counterbalance against Chinese influence and a potentially useful wedge against the West in international forums — and particularly in the U.S.-led effort to isolate Pyongyang over its development of nuclear weapons.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. French riot police push back migrants at Channel Tunnel
  2. Israeli teen stabbed at pride parade dies
  3. Comets hold life building blocks
  4. Al-Qaida branch in Syria threatens U.S.-backed forces
  5. Zimbabwe suspends hunts amid outcry over lion’s death
  6. Vibrantly colored mural spread across 200 homes in central Mexico city
  7. Al-Qaida group in Syria targeted by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes
  8. Bin Laden relatives among crash casualties
  9. Taliban fracture outcome unclear
  10. French students unearth 560,000-year-old tooth, oldest body part found in country
  11. Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years