Senior Russian Lawmaker Speaks Out on North Korea’s Self-Proclaimed Nuclear Status
Among the reasons why the Russian Federation has long opposed recognizing North Korea’s nuclear status, and has held out hope that Pyongyang’s nuclear program can be curbed, is because Moscow does not want a nuclear state on its periphery, let alone another state that can lay claim to being part of the nuclear club.
Nevertheless, the view in Moscow has long been that the DPRK’s nuclear program is neither a direct threat to Russia, nor entirely unjustified given what it has long decried as the US’s aggressive posture on the Korean Peninsula. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, legislative exchanges between North Korea and Russia was a staple of Moscow-Pyongyang bilateral relations. While a single lawmakers words cannot be taken as reflecting the whole of Russian policy toward North Korea’s nuclear program, it is nevertheless a potential hint at the direction in which a revived DPRK-Russia relationship could take with regards to Pyongyang’s WMD program.
Russian Senate Comments on North Korea’s Decree Regarding Nuclear Weapons
Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs believes that the DPRK’s decision to declare itself a nuclear state will not change the balance of power in the world.
First deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov called the decree issued by the DPRK allowing the country the right to a nuclear response to an inescapable external threat as a defensive strategy. The senator believes that the corresponding document by North Korean authorities will not pose a danger to Russia, as cited in RIA Novosti.
He believes that North Korea feels it is under threat, hence why they adopted the decree. The lawmaker called it Pyongyang’s “only guarantee of a safe existence”.
Dzhabarov also stated that the DPRK’s decision will not pose a threat to Russia insofar as Moscow considers the DPRK to be a friendly state. “The balance of nuclear power will not fundamentally change” he said.
In this context, the senator recalled the situation when former US President Donald Trump sent an aircraft carrier toward the coast of the DPRK “but then pulled back” after the North Korean leader threatened to use nuclear weapons.
Earlier this Friday, the DPRK legislatively enshrined its status as a nuclear state. According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, the DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly adopted a decree declaring that the country reserves the right to carry out a nuclear strike in the event of an attack on itself with either nuclear arms or any other type of weapon of mass destruction, or in the event such an attack is imminent. Such a decision can only be taken single-handedly by the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un.
Original article in “Versia.ru”. Translated by Anthony V. Rinna
 Source: Russian Senate Comments on North Korea’s Decree Regarding Nuclear Weapons [В Совфедепрокомментировали декрет КНДР о ядерном оружии], Versia.ru, September 9, 2022 https://versia.ru/v-sovfede-prokommentirovali-dekret-kndr-o-yadernom-oruzhii