The situation in North Korea is growing dire, at least according to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Putin, who has recently deployed troops and armaments to Russia’s minuscule border with the unhinged dictatorship, has come away from a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two were engaged in a meeting regarding a 70 year old dispute over land seized by Russia after World War II, but spent a majority of their time together discussing the ever-evolving issues surround Kim Jong Un and his hermit kingdom.
Given that Japan and Russia, along with South Korea, are the most likely targets of Kim’s limited range of weapons, their understanding of the situation would be paramount to the safety of the region. Unfortunately, their insider knowledge does not point to positive progress on the horizon.
“He and Abe believe the situation on the Korean peninsula has “seriously deteriorated,’ Putin said Thursday after the Kremlin meeting. “We call on all states involved in the region’s affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek peaceful, constructive dialogue.’
“Abe said he and Putin spent a long time discussing North Korea during the three hours of talks that also focused on resolving a seven-decade long dispute over four islands seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The issue has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace accord.
“The 17th meeting between the two leaders took place after Russia warned on Wednesday that the Korean peninsula is ‘on the brink of war.’ Japan has sent warships to join drills with the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which is leading a battle group ordered to the region by President Donald Trump. Putin and Abe are also trying to settle the dispute over the sovereignty of the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the South Kurils in Russia. They agreed to create plans for economic cooperation on the islands during talks at a Japanese hot-spring resort near Abe’s ancestral home in December.”
Complicating the matter are international allegiances between nations on the receiving end of North Korea’s nearly indiscriminate threats. While the U.S. and Russia are walking a tightrope of diplomacy based on American airstrikes in Syria, they find themselves agreeing wholeheartedly on the assessment of North Korea’s threats.