№ 2, 2024. We’ve heard the gossip that Russia and the DPRK are negotiating security guarantees from Moscow for Pyongyang

April 25, 2024

Gossip Column

Ambassador Roland M. Timerbaev was one of the authors of the NPT and founders of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, a Soviet and Russian Ambassador, and our colleague at PIR Center for many years (1994–2010). He often became bored and restless at major international conferences because he did not like to listen to the platitudes that were often repeated there and was very happy to have coffee breaks. It was live communication with real people — exactly what he really valued — and the opportunity to learn the latest news, as well as unconfirmed information and “expert gossip” in the corridors, on the sidelines, over coffee… At such moments, Ambassador Timerbaev would joyfully say: “Well, now is the time for some good gossip”.

Hence the title of this column. PIR Center is not responsible for the accuracy of what our employees and authors heard in the corridors and on the margins of the conferences and told us without reference to the source. Although we know what are these sources.

We’ve heard the gossip that Russia and the DPRK are negotiating security guarantees from Moscow for Pyongyang.

If so, then the matter is serious. Even more serious than it seemed until the landmark visit of Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin to Pyongyang. Why not? Over the past two years, the DPRK has proven itself to be a friend. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Russia and the DPRK coordinate their positions in the Special Military Operation… and in voting at the UN. And we really need to strengthen our relationships with deeds, not with words. However, what exactly to do is already the prerogative of the top Russian leadership. After all, it is said that President Putin will visit the DPRK shortly after his inauguration. Well, we do not know that. We just heard that he would be preparing to visit Mongolia in August… But the distance from Mongolia to the DPRK is close. Here is Eurasia, and there is Eurasia. On the way.

Read on the topic:

  1. Khrustalev V. North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Problem: What is to Be Done? // Russia Confidential. 2017. Vol. 16. № 3 (243). – 8 p. URL: https://pircenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Russia-Confidential-2017-N03-ENG.pdf
  2. Lankov Andrey. The DPRK nuclear program: a strategic deadlock? // Security Index. 2015. Vol. 21. № 2 (113). P. 113-120. URL: https://pircenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/2015-%D0%98%D0%9D%D0%94%D0%95%D0%9A%D0%A1-%D0%91%D0%95%D0%97%D0%9E%D0%9F%D0%90%D0%A1%D0%9D%D0%9E%D0%A1%D0%A2%D0%98-%E2%84%96-3-114-%D0%A2%D0%BE%D0%BC-21.pdf
  3. New Nuclear Nine? Assessing Nuclear Proliferation Threats in the World // Ed. by V.A. Orlov, S.D. Semenov. M.: PIR Press, 2023. – 236 p. URL: https://pircenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/23-01-26-NINE-2nd-edition.pdf.
  4. Vorontsov Alexander. Situation on the Korean Peninsula: opportunities for New U.S. Administration and Russian interests. // Russia Confidential. 2017. Vol. 16. № 1 (241). – 7 p.  https://pircenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Russia-Confidential-2017-N01-ENG.pdf

Key words: DPRK; Nuclear Nonproliferation


E16/MIN – 24/04/25