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Sunday, April 23, 2017
Why Might Russia Be Amassing Troops on it's Border with North Korea ?
Vladivostok, Russia, on the right upper region, is in close proximity to North Korea, to China, and to Seoul in South Korea. To the East, of Vladivostok is Japan and the Sea of Japan.
People in Primorskiy Krai, Russia have been telling relatives that an uncharacteristic number of troops and military equipment are appearing at Russia's border with North Korea. A Number of newspapers in Europe and the US have blown a fuse about this and are frightened that Russia is amassing troops for an anticipated confrontation between the US and North Korea.
Let's step back for a moment and think about this. Primorskiy Krai is the maritime province which houses Vladivostok, Russia. (Very loosely translated as the "Star of the East".) Vladivostok is a very interesting city which among many other things, houses Russia's submarine fleet in that region. It is a beautiful and clearly Russian city, and yet it's located in Asia, and therefore it has the flora and fauna of that region, including Asian tigers in the woods there, the one's of Korean legends. Vladivostok has some interesting neighbors. Vladivostok has some of the best flea markets in the world, all housed in giant shipping containers, and the people who come to those flea markets are often Chinese and Korean, at least as often as they are Russian. If North Korea's leader were to send VX nerve gas to any of his neighbors atop a rocket that may not yet be capable of sending a nuclear weapon anywhere, the Vladivostok and Russia in general could be devastatingly impacted. It is therefore simply a responsible act to move military officers and equipment to the region in protection of one's own. China should be doing the same, and in some reports, they are. An act of provocation on the part of North Korea which goes too far, and ultimately gets their nation attacked, could cause an exodus of people from North Korea who are already desperate and starving, into the surrounding countryside. The refugees won't care whether they are entering China or Russia, just so long as they are getting away from the war that Kim Jong-un seems to wish to create.
Russia's choice in sending troops to Primorskiy Krai may be less about fighting and more about preventing a mass exodus of starving North Koreans into Vladivostok, than anything else. Certainly the situation with N. Korea bears watching, for us all.