Kim may walk away from his trip to Russia with a pledge to expand border crossings, enhancing a bridge built nearly 60 years ago to allow for stepped-up vehicle crossings. China and North Korea opened a new border crossing over the Yalu River in April.
5. Barter system
With trade between them down more than 56 percent last year, Russia and North Korea are working on a mechanism to stimulate commerce without violating sanctions, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday. The two sides would ship goods to each other that don’t fall under the sanctions and avoid the risk of financial penalties by using no money, just barter settlement, the report said. Ushakov, the Kremlin aide, declined to comment on that possibility, however.
“Russia could agree to sell them various goods that Western firms are scared to sell,” said Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Kookmin University in Seoul. “North Korea is viewed as such a dangerous partner that companies fear doing even business that’s permitted.”