Image credit: Melody Cook/CNAS

September 15, 2023

The New Authoritarian Axis: Russian Relations with North Korea and Iran

By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Hanna Notte and Markus Garlauskas

This past Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled to the Russian Far East for a summit with Vladimir Putin. After more than four hours of talks, Kim vowed to provide “full and unconditional support” to Russia, a clear indication of just how closely aligned Russian and North Korean interests have become. This deepening partnership between Russia and North Korea is part of a larger trend that has seen the emergence of a broad axis of authoritarian countries bound through opposition to the United States and its allies. To assess the significance of Russia’s increasingly close relationships with Pyongyang and Tehran for U.S. national security, Hanna Notte and Markus Garlauskas join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on this episode of Brussels Sprouts.

Hanna Notte is the Director for Eurasia at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies as well as a Senior Associate in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Markus Garlauskas is the director of the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He previously served in the US government for nearly twenty years, including as National Intelligence Officer for North Korea.

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