Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Politics

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt 234

Posted by timothy
from the just-passing-through dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "In Russia, the State Duma (lower house) on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012. Russia sees this lucrative in advancing the plans to build a gas pipe and railroad through North to South Korea. The rest of the debt, $1.09 billion, would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal installments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank, Vnesheconombank. Moscow has been trying to diversify its energy sales to Asia away from Europe, which, in its turn, wants to cut its dependence on oil and gas from the erstwhile Cold War foe. Russia's state-owned top natural producer Gazprom is dreaming shipping 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Koreas. Russia has written off debts to a number of impoverished Soviet-era allies, including Cuba. North Korea's struggling communist economy is just 2 percent of the size of neighboring South's."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

Comments Filter:
  • by MisterSquid (231834) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @10:51AM (#46794775)

    Russia sees this lucrative in advancing the plans to build a gas pipe and railroad through North to South Korea

    Seriously? Lay critical crucial infrastructure through North Korea to South Korea?

    There's no way Pyongyang would manipulate those rails and pipes in a fit of political pique that seems to happen, oh, once every eight months. Absolutely now way.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @10:56AM (#46794809)
    They wouldn't want to offend Russia, because Russia would stop the flow of gas they're siphoning off.
  • north korea is the westboro baptist church of countries

    they want to offend

    like an internet troll, every negative reaction is positive reinforcement

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2014 @10:59AM (#46794829)
    The "loan" was foreign aid. No one seriously though North Korea could/would ever pay it back. Kind of like the few hundred million Clinton gave them in exchange for something (doesn't matter what they promised in return, everyone knew they would renege).
  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @11:08AM (#46794891)

    In long term, massively. South Korea will get much cheaper gas, and it might have a stabilizing effect and North Korea will likely be even more closely tied to South through the financial benefits of the functioning pipeline, such as transit fees.

    The main problem is that North Korea may start behaving like Ukraine with the gas, stealing it from the pipeline and even using it as a weapon against South Korea. But potential of getting gas pipeline in South Korea will likely far outweigh the cons.

  • I don't think so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @11:14AM (#46794921)
    It's $11 Billion. I know that sounds like a lot, but it's not really. Not on a Global scale. It might help stabilize North Korea a bit though. They're a poor enough nation to notice it.
  • by gatkinso (15975) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @11:42AM (#46795075)

    The irony is that most of the people they pissed off are long dead, and half of Cuba now lives in Miami.

  • by Immerman (2627577) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @12:47PM (#46795397)

    To *be* bat-shit crazy, or to *appear* bat-shit crazy? Appearing insane can be an excellent military strategy, especially if you're in an extremely week tactical position such as North Korea is in. It makes your enemies extremely hesitant to provoke you because you may quite possibly engage in a completely disproportional and/or unexpected response. Of course keeping up the appearance requires that you do occasionally actually engage in insane behavior, but a sane commander using such tactics will be extremely canny in employing such behavior only when a studied analysis of the enemy suggests that he can get away with it with minimal real costs. The fact that North Korea is not only still standing, but has managed to repeatedly milk the western world for lucrative concessions despite the apparent insanity of its leaders, strongly suggests that that is the case.

    Of course the beauty of such a strategy is that your enemy can never be completely sure exactly how much is an act, and must moderate their own behavior in the face of that uncertainty. Would North Korea launch an all-out attack on our regional allies in response to some moderate provocation, knowing full well that they would be completely obliterated in response? Certainly not. Probably. We hope.

  • by whistlingtony (691548) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @12:58PM (#46795445)
    I'm really weirded out by all the people who give accolades to Putin lately. Russia's a shithole man. It's an oligarchy, flat out. He's not standing up to anyone. Standing up would be helping people and NOT debt slaving them with the IMF. How is invading the Ukraine when it's down in any way brave or good?
  • by BradMajors (995624) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @04:23PM (#46796465)

    Is in American's best interest to become an international pariah and for the average American income to fall?

  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @04:50PM (#46796581)

    It's $11 Billion. I know that sounds like a lot, but it's not really. Not on a Global scale. It might help stabilize North Korea a bit though. They're a poor enough nation to notice it.

    To put it in perspective, that's 1/4 of the B-2 program cost, 1/6 of the F-22 program cost, 1/77 of the (projected) F-35 program cost, 1/545 the cost of the Iraq + Afghanistan wars, 1/39 of Exxon's market cap, or 1/7 Bill Gate's net worth.

  • by whistlingtony (691548) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:37PM (#46796807)

    Oh, PLEASE tell us all how the Arab Spring was Obama's fault... And Fuck Israel.

    Nobody takes us seriously because we started two wars over bad intelligence. No one takes us seriously because we talk about democracy and freedom and then invade countries that don't do what we say. Nobody takes us seriously because we've overthrown democratically elected governments. No one takes us seriously because we're a f'in joke.... We're a child with a giant stick running around hitting other children

    It's weird, but plenty of countries are taken seriously without waving their military around. Japan's taken seriously, and they don't even have a military to speak of! We wield enough economic and cultural power that we shouldn't even have to use our military. And strangely enough, when we DO use diplomacy and sanctions, stuff gets done.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

Working...