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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."
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Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

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  • by MisterSquid (231834) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @11:51AM (#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 @11:56AM (#46794809)
      They wouldn't want to offend Russia, because Russia would stop the flow of gas they're siphoning off.
      • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Saturday April 19, 2014 @11:58AM (#46794821) Homepage Journal

        north korea is the westboro baptist church of countries

        they want to offend

        like an internet troll, every negative reaction is positive reinforcement

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          China and Russia are its traditional allies, and are treated very differently.

      • They wouldn't want to offend Russia, because Russia would stop the flow of gas they're siphoning off.

        You're making the mistake of presuming rational behavior.

    • came here to say this

      that pipeline is going to be shut off once a year in march or april, until running capitalist dogs pay attention to the psychotic state and pay a ransom

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Against Russia's will? Unlikely. You have to remember, this isn't going to be just about the South Korea, and North Korea is completely dependent on China and Russia due to its isolation.

        That and they really like hard currency they'll be getting as transit fees in the North Korea.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      N. Korea wouldn't last two days under war against Russia, that would be the end of chubby-spoiled boy's reign

    • by quantaman (517394)

      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.

      Hmm, is it just me or does Pyongyang sound like the name of a Russian speaking city to me...

  • This is just Putin's latest dumb parlour trick to stir up trouble and poke the West in the eye. He's just acting out.

    • by X.25 (255792)

      This is just Putin's latest dumb parlour trick to stir up trouble and poke the West in the eye. He's just acting out.

      You are a textbook example of how propaganda works and affects people.

      I really wish you would at least became aware of it, at some point.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:03PM (#46795179)

    Why would NK ever agree to do anything to help South Korea? They didn't care about paying bak the money anyway, so it's not that.

    No, the real reason NK agreed to have a pipeline built through the country is they plan to insert NK frogmen spies into the pipeline to infiltrate the south. The beauty of the plan is, they cannot be spied upon the other way due to the pipe flow!

    Masterful.

      1. Step 1: become a NK frogman spy
      2. Step 2: ???
      3. Step 3: Profit!

      (Hint: Step 2 is "defect to SK.")

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Unfortunately NK frogman would probably mean the guy that hunts for frogs to feed his unit.
  • It was founded by Kim Il-Sung, who had communist ideals, yes. However it has ventured far, far, away from those ideals. Indeed the present day US is vastly closer to being an ideal free-market state than North Korea is to being anything that can be approximated as being close to actual communism.
    • by schnell (163007)

      Indeed the present day US is vastly closer to being an ideal free-market state than North Korea is to being anything that can be approximated as being close to actual communism.

      WTF Slashdot? Somehow this got to +5. Seriously?

      That's a mighty big assertion. Care to provide, like, any support? North Korea's economy is built on Juche [wikipedia.org], yes, but it is also heavily built on Communism [wikipedia.org] as well. While it varies from pure Marxist theory in that it has a hereditary dictatorship and not a (never yet achieved anywhere) proletarian rule, the absolute state control of the economy is certainly in line with Marxist theory. In fact, up until the 1980s the Chinese and North Korean systems were equall [historyorb.com]

  • by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:17PM (#46795255)
    Obviously N.Korea is a communist economic horror story. Russia has zero chance of getting paid back anyway. This method of presentation saves face for the Russian government as it was foolish to loan money to N.Korea in the first place and it also saves face for the concept of communism. This can be pushed as an image of one wonderful communist nation doing a good thing for another communist nation. N.Korea is an open sewer deserving the disrespect of all people, everywhere. And most wonderful fat, midget, leader, with really bad hair cut, is the icing on the cake.
    • by jopsen (885607)
      Also, it's only 10B... talking about foreign debt this is peanuts...

      That said, getting debt paid off helps them make new debt and buy things from Russia or China...
    • by dbIII (701233)
      It's best described as a Kingdom with some strange worship of dead Kings going on - sort of like a dysfunctional pharonic Egypt.
  • Do you know where Vladivostok is? Russia not need Korea to ship gas.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Expect to see a lot more stories like this ie "Availability of Public Diplomacy Program Material Within the United States"
      Most of this kind of news was run by the US gov around the world but not for US domestic consumption.
      The limits on this kind of gov backed PR, spin within the US ie the Smith-Mundt Act are now lifted.
      The sock puppets and public diplomacy types will be flooding US news sites with this kind of material as stories and then shaping comments.
      https://www.federalregister.go... [federalregister.gov]
  • 10 posts in and no "In Soviet Russia..." joke?
    Beta must be causing more damage than I thought...

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