(RightWing.org) – After World War II the Korean Peninsula was divided into two countries, the Republic of Korea (South/ROK), with its capital in Seoul and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North/DPRK), with its capital in Pyongyang. In 1950, the North invaded the South launching the Korean War, which was eventually put on hold after the People’s Republic of China (PRC/Communist) entered the conflict on the side of the North, leaving the two countries facing off across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at the 38th parallel.
The DPRK became a military dictatorship, and its current Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un — who represents the third generation in that position — has ruled over a nation that has become one of the world’s most isolated in the nearly seven decades since its founding. But recent world events such as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have given the dictator the chance to reach out to other countries in the hopes of establishing diplomatic relations.
Near and Far
Kim’s hand of partnership has stretched across several continents to reestablish diplomatic relations with another military dictatorship, this one in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. The sub-Saharan country broke off ties when the United Nations (UN) began sanctioning the DPRK over its continued attempts to develop nuclear warheads.
However, a new junta took over Burkina Faso in a military coup (the seventh one in roughly a two-year period) during the fall of 2022, and the new Foreign Affairs Minister, Olivia Rouamba, reportedly announced the two nations will now share “exemplary bilateral cooperation [in areas of] military equipment, mining, healthcare, agriculture, and research.” The American State Department issued a statement that officially condemned the actions “which put in jeopardy the agreed-upon timeline for return to a democratically elected, civilian-led government.”
One concern expressed by some experts in the defense and security realm at the time was about possible Russian influence in the latest coup d’état, and that concern may be justified. Recent articles published in the Russian state-run Tass news agency tell the story of the security partnership with Burkina Faso and quoted chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev as saying that this was an extension of the Soviet Union’s contribution “to the demise of the world’s colonial system.”
There is also concern among Western nations that the DPRK and Russia may be planning a food-for-weapons deal that would net them military hardware that could be used by Putin in his war against Ukraine. This would create a linkage between these two countries and Burkina Faso, with a fourth player muddling the situation even more.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced they will be sending an ambassador to Pyongyang due to “the hostility caused by recent U.S. military actions causing a rising sense of insecurity in North Korea,” according to Chinese state-affiliated news outlet Global Times. In a recent television interview, CIA Director William Burns expressed the opinion that China is seriously considering providing military equipment to Russia.
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