Experts

  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Position : Special Advisor
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Affiliation : "Lifeboat Foundation" expert
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Today the international community is anxiously tracking the situation on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea has massively expanded its programme of rocket and missile testing, and where the U.S. and South Korea are holding unprecedented-in-scale military exercises.

Against these troubling trend...

Dr. Aleksandr Vorontsov, head of the Korea and Mongolia department at the Oriental Institute and member of the PIR Center Advisory Board, often visits North Korea and maintains long-term contacts with North Korean experts. During his recent visit to Pyongyang in October 2016, he held meetings at thr...

PIR Center's Experts on the Situation around the DPRK

14.04.2017

MOSCOW, APRIL 14, 2017. PIR PRESS – “Since there is no quick and easy solution to the situation around the DPRK, it is worth considering interim solutions. What could realistically be on the agenda for talks right now? Preventing unplanned military actions and minimal confidence building measures. This is the main problem today; nobody wants a war by error. In future, it would be wise to desist from the talks focused purely on the nuclear issue. It would not make sense to discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue without also looking at missile defense and the rising conventional potential of countries in the region, or without looking at the problems relating to uncertainty over diplomatic relations. And within any discussion it is vital that issues open to interim deals are identified,” – expert on the DPRK military capabilities, Vladimir Khrustalev.

On April 12, 2017 US media citing anonymous intelligence sources ran the story that the DPRK is planning another nuclear test for April 15 on the 105th birthday of the founder of the North Korea, Kim Il-Sung. United States have dispatched a carrier strike group lead by USS Carl Vinson to the region. According to unverified information, US military is prepared to shot down North Korean missiles.  

Most experts agree that the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula cannot be realistically achieved by force. “Calls for "military action" against the DPRK and its nuclear program are naïve at best and miscalculating or misleading at worst. Russian and Chinese positions on limitation of and responses to Pyongyang’s nuclear program are almost identical and reject the military option”, – said Special Adviser to PIR Center Vladimir Orlov.

In the new issue of the monthly analytical bulletin Russia Confidential expert of Lifeboat Foundation and editor of the Northeast Asian Military Studies website Vladimir Khrustalev gives a thorough analysis of the nuclear and missile programs of the DPRK and also stresses the importance to solve the issue through diplomatic means. “Since there is no quick and easy solution to the situation around the DPRK, it is worth considering interim solutions. What could realistically be on the agenda for talks right now? Preventing unplanned military actions and minimal confidence building measures. This is the main problem today; nobody wants a war by error. In future, it would be wise to desist from the talks focused purely on the nuclear issue. It would not make sense to discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue without also looking at missile defense and the rising conventional potential of countries in the region, or without looking at the problems relating to uncertainty over diplomatic relations. And within any discussion it is vital that issues open to interim deals are identified,” – notes Vladimir Khrustalev

According to PIR Center’s «Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation» Program Director Andrey Baklitskiy, «a solution to the nuclear issue of the DPRK lies through an interim agreement with Pyongyang, according to which North Korea refrains from further nuclear testing, missile testing, nuclear material production and the proliferation of sensitive materials and technologies in exchange for sanctions relief, economic assistance and security guarantees».

At the same time, diplomatic approach to the settlement of disagreements with the DPRK does not mean ignoring Pyongyang's actions that violate international law. The international community shoud continue to insist on the fulfillment of the obligations with regard to missiles and programs, and also to act decisively in the case of other violations. In early April, Kaspersky Lab reported that Pyongyang could be behind the cyber group Lazarus, suspected of theft of $ 81 million from the accounts of the Central Bank of Bangladesh in 2016.

According to PIR Center consultant Oleg Demidov, «in case North Korean hackers are really behind Lazarus, the potential of the DPRK in cyberspace and its threat to the international community can acquire a qualitatively different scale than previously considered. Lazarus is not simply another  group of hackers, it's a monster whose resources permit it to run several parallel campaigns of cyberattacks in parallel and operational budget so big that to fill it a special internal structure – Bluenoroff – was created that only attacks financial organizations. Pyongyang roots, if confirmed, would be really bad news for the cybersecurity industry and IT industry in general. In case this version is confirmed the battle against Lazarus should be waged not only by private sector, but also by governments – incuding Russia. For the moment, despite all the efforts of Kaspersky Lab and other private players, Lazarus has not been fully identified, less so destroyed. The solution of this problem can become a good case for international cooperation in the field of cybersecurity with the participation of Russia, the US, possibly China and other states».  

PIR Center will be following the development of the situation around the DPRK. 

Trialogue Club International will continue publishing monthly analytical bulletin Russia Confidential for its members. You have the opportunities to join the club, participate in its meetings, and receive Russia Confidential and other materials from the Club and its partners – PIR Center and PIR Press LLC. For questions on the membership please, contact the Club Secretary Maxim Miroshnikov by phone: +7 (985) 764-98-96 or email: secretary@trialogue-club.ru or miroshnikov@pircenter.org

For all questions concerning PIR Center’s program “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” please contact the Program Director Andrey Baklitskiy by phone at +7 (495) 987-19-15 or by email at baklitsky at pircenter.org

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