Inside Story

Can Putin’s diplomacy help him counter Western isolation?

Russian president visits North Korea and Vietnam to shore up alliances.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin wrapped up a two-nation Asia tour on a high. It was the first time in 24 years he’d set foot in North Korea – and left Pyongyang with a new defence pact to show for it.

His two-day visit to Vietnam yielded several new trade agreements with the manufacturing hub.

Putin’s latest state visits seem to be an attempt to bolster support amid increasing isolation over his war in Ukraine.

But what do these countries stand to gain from closer ties with Moscow? And how is Washington reacting?


Laura Kyle


Andrei Lankov – professor at Kookmin University and director of NK News, an online news source focused on North Korea

Benjamin Young – assistant professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University; author of Guns, Guerrillas and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World

Carlyle Thayer – professor emeritus University of New South Wales Canberra; former senior staff member at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies at the US Pacific Command