As North Korea continues to develop a nuclear-weapons program, threatening the U.S. and neighboring countries while starving and enslaving much of its population, the regime of Kim Jong Un continues to receive an increasing amount of both public and private support from Russia. But why?
“Putin is weakening sanctions against North Korea to weaken the concept of sanctions themselves,” Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which seeks to illuminate human rights abuses in communist governments, told Fox News. “Russia is under heavy international sanctions and Putin wants to empower naysayers in the West who think sanctions ae either too inefficient or too provocative of the dictatorial regimes they are levied against.”
However, Russia did go along this week in siding with the latest round of U.S.-pushed sanctions, approved by the U.N. Security Council. If properly enforced, the new sanctions would severely limit North Korea’s access to international currency and fuel required for its prohibited ballistic missile and nuclear programs. It won’t be able to export textiles, one of its only export industries. In addition, importing oil and fuel will be a marginally harder, as will propelling its people off to make money in labor jobs abroad.
Nonetheless, the sanctions initially proposed by the U.S. – which included completely cutting off oil imports – were significantly diluted largely at Russia’s behest. Moscow is also one of the biggest food-aid donors to North Korea, which is widely accused of pouring its finances into military and missile spending rather than feeding its impoverished population.