Russia is turning North Korea into its agent of mischief

North Korea's allegiance is up for grabs — and Putin is moving in

Kim Jong-Un visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in July 2014.
(Image credit: (REUTERS/KCNA))

Last week, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladmir Putin "regularly exchange messages." Cold War allies Russia and North Korea have re-ignited ties in recent months, on the surface talking about economic issues. In reality, they're likely discussing much more.

This is bad and alarming news. Russia, which would have little reason to rein in the North's outrageous behavior, could eclipse more moderate China as the isolated country's patron. This would be a step backward in terms of the security of Northeast Asia — and the United States.

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