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Was Russia's Ambassador Shot Because of His Huge Influence in N. Korea?

"[Ambassador] Andrei Karlov was the person who had demonstrated that he could be the force for peace in the North-South relations, while also being a powerful and vocal advocate for the Russian influence on the Korean peninsula.

[He] was one of the rare foreign friends of the reclusive North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il. ..., they spent many evenings with Kim and his closest associates (presumably also his son and successor Kim Jong-un), dining together and signing Russian/Soviet songs."


Professor Filip Kovacevic Subscribe to 17138
Wed, May 17, 2017 | 1575 4


Is the US quietly bumping off key Russian officials who occupy strategically sensitive posts?

This is an excerpt from a longer article at Newsbud, an excellent American, reader-funded news company.

They are currently in the midst of their 3rd crowdfunding, which you can support by clicking the link at the end of this article.


[Ambassador] Karlov spent most of his diplomatic career, that is to say, more than twenty years of his life, on the Korean peninsula, and, most importantly, in North Korea. He was stationed in the Soviet embassy in Pyongyang from 1976 to 1981 and from 1984 to 1990 and, then, worked in the Russian Embassy in Seoul, South Korea from 1992 to 1997.[12] Most importantly, he returned to North Korea as the Russian ambassador in 2001 and remained until 2006.

The fullest account of Karlov's time in North Korea is found in the recent exclusive interview that Karlov's wife Marina gave to the Russian monthly investigative intelligence magazine Sovershenno Sekretno [Top Secret].[13] She points out that Karlov intended to write his memoirs after completing the assignment in Turkey. The most prominent part in the memoirs would have been the time spent in North Korea.

In fact, according to Marina Karlova, her husband considered North Korea “his second homeland.” He spoke Korean language fluently and was one of the rare foreign friends of the reclusive North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il. According to Karlova, they spent many evenings with Kim and his closest associates (presumably also his son and successor Kim Jong-un), dining together and signing Russian/Soviet songs.[14] Kim Jong-il spoke Russian and knew many Russian/Soviet songs by heart. He appears to have really liked Karlov and it is not far-fetched to suppose that Karlov became his confidant on international affairs, including the nuclear technology issues. After Karlov’s request, Kim allowed the construction of the first Russian Orthodox church building in North Korea. This is no small feat to accomplish in the country where the public expression of religious feelings is openly discouraged.

According to Karlova, it was the intense diplomatic efforts of her husband that led to the relaxation of tensions between North Korea on one side and South Korea, Japan and the U.S. on the other in the early years of the 21st century. Just as now, the world was then also on the brink of a major confrontation. It appears that Karlov was able not only to defuse the danger, but to substantially improve the Russian international standing and credibility on this issue. Russia was included as one of the key states monitoring the North-South relations and this was several years before the evident Russian return to the Great Power politics. In fact, it could easily be that Karlov forged ahead with the ambitious Russian foreign policy agenda on the Korean peninsula, even without the explicit approval of the Kremlin and based on his personal friendship with Kim.

It is worth recalling that, in those years, the Russian president Putin was not willing to confront the Atlanticist geopolitical projects as openly and vigorously as he has been doing since he returned to the presidency for the third time in 2012. In my opinion, it can even be said that, thanks to Karlov, the Russians seemed to have become a closer ally to the North Koreans than the Chinese. I am sure that this was well understood (and extremely disliked) in the aggressively anti-Russian circles in the West. This may, in fact, be that “something” that precipitated the decision to assassinate Karlov.

The Karlov’s legacy in the Russian-North Korean relations must not be underestimated. His closest associate and friend in the Russian embassy in North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, is now the Russian ambassador there. Matsegora was quoted by the New York Times as saying "he [Karlov] is no more and half of me, too, is no more."[15] Can there be a more poignant sign of deep respect and close friendship?

In his official statement on the website of the Russian embassy in North Korea, Matsegora mourns the loss of his friend and states that so many current Russian-North Korean political, economic, and social linkages have been established by Karlov. Importantly, Matsegora also says that he had frequently kept in touch with Karlov, while Karlov was in Turkey, in order to consult with him on the present and future challenges confronting North Korea.[16]

In other words, up until the day he was murdered, Karlov was still a very important diplomatic player in the Russian overt and covert dealings with North Korea. Moreover, Karlov's only son Gennady, a graduate of MGIMO just like his father, worked in the consular section of the embassy in Pyongyang while his father was in Ankara. There is every reason to suppose that he was also receiving the instructions from his father.

An Alternative Hypothesis?

Taking into consideration all that has been said above, the following hypothesis should be pondered. If there is in the West (in the U.S.-NATO leadership) a political-military-intelligence faction that wants to go to war against North Korea, then all those who could stop this war would need to be preemptively eliminated in one way or another. Andrei Karlov was the person who had demonstrated that he could be the force for peace in the North-South relations, while also being a powerful and vocal advocate for the Russian influence on the Korean peninsula. It is plausible that this, and not the Russian-Turkish disputes, played the role of the factor precipitating his assassination.

As one of the key theorists of the Anglo-American school of geopolitics, Nicholas Spykman, has written: "... strategy must consider the whole world as a unit and must think of all fronts in relation to each other."[17]

Filip Kovacevic, Newsbud Analyst & Commentator, is a geopolitical author, university professor and the chairman of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro. He received his BA and PhD in political science in the US and was a visiting professor at St. Petersburg State University in Russia for two years. He is the author of seven books, dozens of academic articles & conference presentations and hundreds of newspaper columns and media commentaries. He has been invited to lecture throughout the EU, Balkans, ex-USSR and the US. He currently resides in San Francisco. He can be contacted at fk1917@yahoo.com

Source: Newsbud
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