Country Reports

Russia’s thirst for multipolarity on terms that would not require reconsideration of its assumptions about countries active in East Asia was on vivid display through the summer. Hopes rose appreciably for North Korea’s help in this pursuit, doubts about China were limited in ways supportive of this overall objective, and commentaries on South Korea, Japan, and India did not suggest anything to the contrary. There was no indication of any shift toward optimism about the US role in the region, resulting in a search for scenarios to bypass its obstructionism rather than to satisfy its needs. The Cold War school of thought seized on events to continue its resurgence, even as the multipolar school sought, obliquely as necessary, to differentiate itself. In many articles, whether from officials associated with the Foreign Ministry or from experts on countries in the region working in institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, national identity deductions masqueraded as realist analysis. The occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the armistice ending the Korean War provided one opportunity.

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