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Russia-D.P.R.K. Strategic Agreement Shows Russia Is Not Bluffing

F-16 planes to Ukraine raises the risk of war. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julia Lebens

The significance of Rissian Presdient Vladimir Putin’s decision to sign an “All-Encompassing Strategic Partnership” and indicate a willingness to send Russian weapons to North Korea, was not missed by Russia expert Gilbert Doctorow in his blog post on June 19. During the signing of the new strategic partnership in Pyongyang, Putin made a very particular nod that may not have jumped out to everyone reading it on first glance: “I would like to draw your attention to statements of the United States and other NATO countries on the supply of high-precision weapon systems of long range capability, F-16 aircraft, and other high-tech weapons and equipment for striking Russian territory…. In this regard, the Russian Federation does not exclude the development of military-technical cooperation with North Korea in accordance with the signed document today.” (emphasis added).

Commenting on this development, Doctorow writes: “Vladimir Putin remarked that the Partnership has a military component which affirms that each side will come to the aid of the other if it is under attack. Then, gratuitously, one might say, he mentioned the impending dispatch of F-16s by NATO countries that are to use Ukrainian territory to strike deep into the Russian Federation heartland. The juxtaposition of these two points in his speech leaves little doubt to those of us trained as Sovietologists that Putin considers what NATO is about to do at its Western borders as the very act of aggression that will trigger Russia’s Strategic Partnership with North Korea and present the United States with a live threat to its military bases in Korea, in Japan and in the broader region.

“Whether we choose to consider this scenario as ‘symmetric’ or ‘asymmetric’ response is beside the point. The net result will surely be as effective in waking up the dullards in Washington, D.C., in Brussels, London and Berlin to the fact that Russia means business, is not bluffing, and can wreak massive destruction on U.S. and Western military assets at any moment of its choosing if there is further escalation in the Ukraine war.”

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