Russia has been playing a high-stakes political game in North East Asia using talks over a pipeline deal with South Korea and Seoul’s long-term enemy, North Korea, to enhance its bargaining position in talks with China. Moscow’s ambition is to move into the Chinese energy market and it hoped the Korea negotiations would coerce China into agreeing higher prices for Russian gas. However, it seems Russia has lost out as pipeline talks stall and China looks to other suppliers.

SOUTH Korea has a fast-growing economy which imports oil, coal and gas to meet nearly all its energy needs. It is one of the world’s neediest energy consumers.

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Russia is a major producer of natural gas and is in search of reliable markets. The obvious way forward would be to join Russia and South Korea – less than 700km (435 miles) away - via a pipeline
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