New Ferry Linking North Korea and Russia Squanders Isolation Efforts by US

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Whereas Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba posed an immediate threat that required a quick and decisive response, North Korea remains unable to launch a direct nuclear attack against the U.S. with its current arsenal, allowing the USA to continue its slow-burning strategy of "strategic patience" despite a recent spike in tensions.Pyongyang's latest missile test, however, indicates that North Korea is making significant progress towards obtaining a nuclear weapon able to strike the United States mainland.

The launch of the first-ever weekly service linking Vladivostok and the North Korean port of Rajin on May 18 was also not deterred by North Korea's test-firing of a ballistic missile on May 14 that landed in the sea near Russian Federation.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on May 18 that the new ferry service didn't fall under existing United Nations sanctions, however.

Investstroytrest said the ferry will provide transport for North Koreans working in Russian Federation and Chinese tourists wanting to travel by sea to Vladivostok. China accounts for the vast majority of North Korea's worldwide trade.

Adams noted Russia's "obligation" under UN Security Council resolutions, "to inspect all cargo, including personal luggage, of any individual travelling to or from" North Korea.

The top American military officer in the Pacific said Wednesday that North Korea's recent military actions are "a recipe for a disaster" and warned against a sense of complacency in the face of increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

One of the passengers showed a photograph on her smartphone she said had been taken on board. They scrutinize shipping traffic to parse whether the flow of oil and coal between North Korea and China might be diminishing, with potentially disastrous results for Kim Jong Un's regime.

Russia, especially the port of Vladivostok, is home to one of the largest overseas communities of North Koreans, who send home much-needed hard currency.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he's willing to engage in talks with the North "if conditions are right", using language also touted by Seoul and Pyongyang.

Asked about the ferry, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday she "didn't see a connection" between the new service and political issues.

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