Russian-Operated Pier in North Korea Accumulates Coal, Signaling Potential Restart of Joint Project

Russian-operated pier in North Korea's Rason zone resumes coal transshipment, potentially signaling restart of joint project amid alleged arms trade at adjacent piers, raising concerns about Russia-North Korea ties.

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Geeta Pillai
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Russian-Operated Pier in North Korea Accumulates Coal, Signaling Potential Restart of Joint Project

Russian-Operated Pier in North Korea Accumulates Coal, Signaling Potential Restart of Joint Project

A Russian-operated pier in North Korea's Rason Special Economic Zone has accumulated coal for the first time in over four years, according to a recent satellite imagery analysis by NK Pro. The development potentially signals the restart of a joint project between Russia and North Korea, amid alleged arms trade activities at adjacent piers.

The pier, located in the North Korean port city of Chongjin, has been inactive since 2018. However, recent satellite images show the accumulation of coal, suggesting a possible resumption of economic activities between the two countries. The adjacent piers have also been observed engaging in alleged arms trade, raising concerns about potential sanctions violations.

The resumption of coal transshipment at the Rason pier could be linked to the reported arms trade happening at the neighboring piers, as Russia and North Korea appear to be engaging in sanctioned trade. This development comes amid concerns about North Korea's diverse arsenal of drones and missiles and questions about South Korea's preparedness to address these latest threats.

Why this matters: The potential restart of the joint project between Russia and North Korea, along with the alleged arms trade activities, raises concerns about the two countries' growing economic and military ties. This development could have implications for regional stability and international sanctions against North Korea.

The satellite imagery analysis by NK Pro reveals that the Russian-operated pier in North Korea has accumulated coal for the first time in over four years, potentially signaling the restart of a joint project between the two countries. The article notes that this development comes as North Korean agricultural and forestry delegations have recently traveled to Russia, which one expert described as a bid by Moscow to repay Pyongyang for its supplies of weapons.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian-operated pier in North Korea's Rason zone has accumulated coal after 4+ years.
  • Potential restart of Russia-NK joint project amid alleged arms trade at adjacent piers.
  • Concerns about sanctions violations due to Russia-NK economic and military ties.
  • NK agricultural and forestry delegations recently visited Russia, possibly for weapons repayment.
  • Developments raise concerns about regional stability and NK's growing drone/missile arsenal.