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Government Politics

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt 234

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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2014 @11:52AM (#46794781)

    Russia as a nation is 11 billion dollars poorer, and the communist party members that stole the money in the first place are 11 billion dollars richer.

  • by Kagetsuki ( 1620613 ) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @12:07PM (#46794883)

    [Unfortunately?] No. Though I can't think of any post soviet ally that has actually benefitted or gotten ahead from having debt written off. It also occurs to me that many of those states with debt were basically given the debt - Russia gave them things like gas and lumber at particularly low rates but didn't take payment or only took partial payment. So once the debt built up they'd use it as sort of a threat to not go against them. Case in point: Ukraine just got a huge gas bill from Russia http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c211... [ft.com] .

  • by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @12:58PM (#46795151)

    Compare Cuba to Domincan Republic. Both are quite similar except for the politics - Dominican Republic had an US sponsored coup and is very much capitalist because of that. Still Cuba has a higher GDP and a higher HDI. Or take Jamaica. A capitalist constitutional monarchy and a commonwealth realm with close ties to the Brits. Still, same here, Cuba has a higher GDP and a higher HDI.

    Funny thing though. North Korea used to have a milder form of government than South Korea and the people were also better off - up to the early 1970ies. Then the former went downwards, while the latter shot upwards.

  • by whistlingtony ( 691548 ) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @02:04PM (#46795467)

    That weakling got Osama, has Iran giving up it's highly enriched Uranium to lift the sanctions, and cut a deal that got Syria to give up their chemical weapons. There are other measures of strength than blowing shit up. Diplomacy works.

    Now, as a dirty lib, I do believe he is a weak president on the homefront. Dude hasn't even TRIED to fulfill his campaign promises and keeps trying to cut deals with the Republicans who clearly aren't going to give him squadoo even though he gives them 90% of what they wanted anyway. Sigh....

    If you're going to hate on Obama, hate on him for real reasons. His foreign policy had strengthened us, not weakened us. Bush is the one that took us from having the whole world supporting us to having everyone revile us. Again....

  • Re:yep (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:11PM (#46796413)

    Assassinating North Korean leadership would be fairly easy for US today if it wanted to do it.

    The reason it's not been done is the fact that sudden power vacuum would cause a collapse of North Korean state, and North Koreans have proven to be extremely difficult to acclimate to South Korean society, where they would massively flood to.

    Believe it or not, the biggest proponent of keeping the current leadership in power is South Korea. They are the ones who would take by far the biggest hit from North's collapse. They advocate long term assimilation policy instead, where North Korean leadership is slowly made more and more dependent on South's money until eventually they have to open their own country enough for cultural exchange to start to happen, demolishing the power base.

  • Re:I don't think so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @10:38PM (#46797759)

    Roughly 10% ahead of Canada and losing ground rapidly.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.