Director, Center for Korean studies, Institute of Far Eastern Studies
Received March 31 2016; Revised version received April 15 2016; Accepted May 15 2016
This paper will examine Russia’s policy concerning Korea’s re-unification and Moscow’s likely responses to possible results of the unification process as a major and necessary element of peace-building in Northeast Asia. Since the middle of the 19th century Russia has had a keen interest in the situation on the Korean peninsula. History repeatedly proved that any aggravation of the situation on the peninsula caused serious concerns and made Russia to take additional steps to ensure her security. So both for security reasons and for smooth development of her Far Eastern region, Russia is vitally interested in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. Emergence of the re-unified Korea, however, is likely to create a new situation in the region and make Russia to re-evaluate her policy in Northeast Asia. It is generally accepted notion that Russia will benefit, first of all, from liquidation of a long-time hot spot right next to her Far Eastern region and from founding the re-unified Korea, which is supposedly will maintain relations of friendship, good-neighborhood and cooperation with Russia and other neighboring states. Meanwhile, at the moment, better relations between North and South Korea, along with providing Russia with more favorable conditions for development of trade and economic cooperation with both parts of Korea, would also open new opportunities for economic development of the Russian Far East and for linking Russia’s economy to globalization and integration processes in the Asia-Pacific region. So both on security and economic reasons Moscow is vitally interested in reconciliation between North and South Korea and eventual emergence of a peaceful and neutral Korea.
Key Words : Korean peninsula, security, unification, peace mechanism, neutralization of Korea