Russia To Build North Korean Rail Line
I thought this was kind of interesting. Russia is working on developing rail through North Korea in order to have a decent rail line between the Far East and Europe (which passes through Russia, of course). There’s also something buried in there about Russian gas and oil being piped into Korea and the story of Russian gas and oil is another interesting geopolitical one.
The article makes it clear that this rail line isn’t going to replace oversea shipping, but in some cases it will be a better option than shipping via the sea, such as specialty orders. While it may not be THAT significant, it’s definitely an example of the focus of the world economy shifting a little eastward bit-by-bit. Russia has already written off anything beyond phoned-in cooperation with the West and is beginning to focus more on Central Asia and China as far as military, political and economic cooperation. Kind of an interesting development considering they spent several decades hating each other in one of the world’s more bizarre rivalries. I never completely understood the USSR vs. PRC stand-off, there has to be more to it beyond each side thinking the other was doing Communism wrong. Anyways, sometime in the future I want to write/podcast about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (involving Russia and China) because I think it’s a big story that pretty much got overlooked by the hoi polloi here.
There’s also a quote in the article about Russia believing that getting North Korea involved in the world one way or another will be a good step towards peace. They’re probably right. I don’t think anyone is 100% sure on how to handle North Korea though. In a recent article I wrote about American exceptionalism I said that I thought Putin & Russia saved the day on Syria and it would be kind of interesting if they ended up being the ones to crack North Korea too. I’m not suggesting that this act will do that, but it’s something.
I also think it’s interesting that we don’t really think about things like trade routes, oil pipelines and other supply chains in our day-to-day lives, but they’re a huge deal in the world. We just count on what we need being there and usually that’s what happens, one way or another. When you start looking into these things a lot of the world’s conflicts start to make a little more sense.