Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 120

A second round of talks in Moscow on June 16-17 between Russia and North Korea failed to produce a breakthrough on a new bilateral treaty, but a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the draft document is now 95 percent complete and is expected to be signed before the end of this year. The agreement would replace the 1961 Soviet-North Korean Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. In 1993 Russia unilaterally renounced the mutual defense commitments contained in that agreement; the treaty expired last year. (Russian news agencies, June 17-18)

In recent years Russia has improved its relations with South Korea but has been frustrated — not least by Seoul — in its efforts to play a greater role in efforts to achieve a broader peace settlement on the Korean peninsula. At present, talks on that issue (insofar as they are progressing at all), are being conducted on the basis of a "2 + 2" formula that includes the two Koreas, China, and the U.S. Moscow has repeatedly called for the holding of an international peace conference, of which Russia would be a participant, to advance the peace process on the Korean peninsula. That proposal was voiced again on June 17 by Russia’s ambassador to South Korea, who criticized the government in Seoul for failing to acknowledge what he said is the positive contribution that Moscow can make to peace and security in the region. (Itar-Tass, June 17)

Strategic Air Force to Skip a Generation.