According to Yonhap:
‘We would like to see … when Kim Jong-un goes to Moscow, that the Russians deliver a clear message on the nuclear and missile programs,’ U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Mark Lippert said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency at his residence.
In other news:
One of Boris Lisitsyn’s happiest memories is of being swept by a huge, joyous crowd through the streets of Moscow and onto Red Square in spontaneous celebrations when World War II ended in Europe.
He was too young to fight but, like most Russians, sees the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 as one of his nation’s great achievements, albeit as part of the Soviet Union.
‘I remember the end of the war so well. It was such an all-embracing joy, when people poured on to the streets with bottles, with songs, half-drunk,’ the 86-year-old retiree said in his apartment on the outskirts of the Russian capital.
‘Everyone went, intuitively, to Red Square, to the center. There were so many people. Any soldier, any soldier was swung in their arms, people sang to them: ‘You guys are great!”
He is less enthusiastic when asked about plans by Western leaders not to attend a military parade on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 marking the 70th anniversary of the victory in 1945.
‘It is of course not nice,’ Lisitsyn said quietly, before adding with a shrug: ‘They have the right to do so.’
The Western boycott is intended to show displeasure over President Vladimir Putin’s support for pro-Russian separatists fighting government forces in eastern Ukraine.
But many Russians see the snub as disrespect for their country’s heavy wartime losses, intended to undermine the significance of Moscow’s role in winning the war.
Diplomacy pro-tip: best way to annoy the fuck out of someone? Remind them to be a good little boy and play nicely while simultaneously insulting their war history. (Yonhap reads this comment as the US asking for Russian assistance in achieving its policy aims. In fact, Lippert didn’t actually ask for help, he just expressed a vague wish, so the Russians are only allowed to seethe internally, and can’t actually get offended.)
On any another issue this would definitely be strike one to the US in the infuriating superiority stakes.
But on North Korean nukes the US is actually the outlier, with all the other members of the Six Party Talks wanting to return to negotiations and the US refusing to do anything until North Korea shows signs of disarmament. Also, the Russians have repeatedly shown themselves to value trolling the West over material gain. Push too hard and we can look forward to the inauguration of the all new and improved Five Party Talks sometime in 2016.