2017年06月01日

ロシアは北朝鮮に対して好機を掴んでいる。 ロシアは北朝鮮と比較的短い国境に接しているが、その歴史は長く、経済的にも財務的にもその結びつきを強めている。(2)

Russia Smells Opportunity
Rhetorically, Russia and North Korea have long considered rekindling ties in several areas, and now the breakdown in relations between Russia and the West has created a favorable environment for this to happen. Over the past few years, Russia has increased its involvement in several strategic areas for North Korea, which could position Moscow as a minor, but crucial, partner for Pyongyang. 

Rhetorically:美辞麗句で飾って
rekindling:再び燃え立たせる
breakdown:破綻

In 2014, Moscow officially settled North Korea's Soviet-era debt of $11 billion, writing off 90 percent of it and allowing North Korea to pay the rest over 20 years without interest. That same year, North Korea granted Russian business executives long-term multiple-entry visas for the first time. The next year, a business council was set up between the countries. Russia's direct trade to North Korea remains limited, at about $100 million of North Korea's total $7.6 billion in foreign trade. However, those figures are conservative, given one-third of China's exports to North Korea are goods, particularly fuel, that originated in Russia. In addition, Russia has provided millions of dollars worth of food aid to North Korea in recent years, including nearly half of the country's grain imports. 

中国からの燃料の輸出の3分の一はもともとはロシアからだ。また、穀物の輸入の半分はロシアからの無償供与のようだ。

In Russia's biggest project with North Korea, it is building transportation infrastructure on both sides of the border to increase future trade. In 2013, Russia completed a renovation of the only rail line directly connecting the countries, adding to it bridges, tunnels and modern equipment. 

Because there are no cross-border roads between the countries, plans to further upgrade the rail line and to create a universal freight terminal at the North Korean port of Rajin were accelerated in 2014. Russian firms are bankrolling the expansion of the port, which handled 100,000 tons of Russian coal exported through North Korea in 2014. In 2015, Russian Railways planned to move 1.5 million of coal through the port. Russia's Center for Korean Studies estimates that if South Korea used that transit route, it could save approximately 15 percent in coal import costs. But the elevated tensions on the peninsula have shelved plans for the rail line to be expanded to South Korea. In addition, a proposal for expanding a Russian natural gas pipeline running through North Korea to the South has also been put on hold. In January, Russian Railways proposed an even greater expansion of the rail lines connecting Rajin to Russia, including an agreement that would allow North Korean workers to receive training in Russian technical expertise. 

bankrolling:資金援助をする

Beyond rail, Russia plans to start regular cargo and passenger ferry service between Rajin and Vladivostok on May 8. The giant North Korean ferry Man Gyong Bong-92, which will be used on the route, previously sailed between North Korea and Japan, but Tokyo recently halted that service. When it ran to Japan, the ferry reportedly was used to spirit cash out of North Korea and skirt sanctions. In spite of Japan's cutoff, North Koreans wanting to scrub financial transactions would now be able to either transit on the ferry through Russia to Japan or deal with Russian banks directly. 

spirit cash:密かに持ち出す
skirt :回避する
scrub:ゴシゴシ洗う

A Financial Conduit
Financial ties between Russia and North Korea have changed in recent years. In 2014, Russia and North Korea agreed to denominate all bank transfers in rubles, as sanctions on both countries make it difficult to move money. But in mid-2016, responding to Western pressure, Russia's central bank blocked all financial transfers from North Korea, a policy it is already reconsidering. In recent years, Russia has created a financial transaction system that is increasingly independent from the Western-dominated SWIFT system. Technical agreements are in place to restore financial transactions between North Korea and Russia, though the Kremlin would need to grant permission to resume moving money, which can now be done electronically outside of Western notice. 

Conduit:運び屋・ルート
denominate:表示される
resume:再開する

ロシアは北朝鮮にかねてからの債務を免除したり、羅津を拠点とした交易の整備をしたりしている。万景峰号が以前は日本と行き来して、お金を移動させていたが、それができなくなったので、今度はロシアを経由してお金を移動させようとしている。また、ロシアは北朝鮮に対しての制裁も行っているが、それを隠すために金融決済の方法を変えようとしている。

ようするに、ロシアは北朝鮮への制裁を逆手にとって、北朝鮮を抱き込もうとしている。小出しではなく、ダイナミックに北朝鮮を懐柔しようとしている。中国との関係を意識しているからだ。

金曜日。今日は細井さんとの会食がある。ではまた明日。

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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

スウィングバイ株式会社
代表取締役社長

アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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