Women working at a plant in the Rason special economic zone on the borders of North Korea, China and Russia (photo: dpa)

China upstages Russia over control of north east Asia

Russia and China are locked in a battle for influence in north east Asia, centred on transporting both goods and energy resources. Moscow faces a major problem - pipelines and land transport to prosperous South Korea must pass through North Korea, an unpredictable and unstable nuclear power where its leader, Kim Jong-un had his uncle and mentor executed in December on charges or treason. Russia is being effectively held hostage by North Korea, and seems incapable of breaking free.

<em>Russia's President Vladimir Putin visited Seoul in November for talks with his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye, as part of th...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Building a pipeline would not only reduce transport costs, it would also offer South Korea a secure source of energy supply and Russia a guaranteed market that would justify major investment
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