Volume 11, No.1, 2021


Anastasia O. Barannikova

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Abstract: The present article analyzes the state of economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Explanation of absence of visible progress in bilateral economic relations is proposed. Some prospects for future cooperation are covered.

Keywords: Russia, DPRK, North Korea, economic cooperation, foreign policy

During the last Congress Kim Jong Un reiterated trends to rapprochement not only with China but also with Russia that suggests prioritizing relations with neighbors in the nearest term.

On the one hand, it is natural given long history or Russia-North Korean relations. Russia’s predecessor, the USSR, was the first to recognize new state, the DPRK and to establish strategic relations with it in 1948. On the other hand, with the collapse of the USSR Russia was pushed to the margins of politics on the Korean Peninsula and lost its influence on the DPRK.

Economic cooperation

The collapse of the Soviet Union could not but affect economic relations between Russia and the DPRK. Bilateral trade decreased by almost 10 times – from $ 600 million in 1992 to $ 65 million in 1997. Only when political dialogue started in 2000s, economic relations between two countries were revitalized. Bilateral trade volume grew from $ 105 million in 2000 to $ 234,8 million in 2005. It totalled to $ 110 million in 2010 and $ 113,7 million in 2011 [5].

Along with increasing trade two countries started ambitious project of a “railway transport corridor connecting the north and south of the Korean Peninsula with Russia and Europe”. In parallel, other Trans-Korean projects were discussed, such as construction of the RF-DPRK-ROK gas pipeline and power transmission line from the Primorsky Territory of Russia to ROK through the DPRK territory. However, due to the difficult political situation on the Korean Peninsula those projects have not been implemented so far. The only project to reach the stage of practical implementation was railway construction. And even this project is still bilateral. ROK has never become a third party to the project.

In September 2012, two countries signed bilateral agreement on economic cooperation that settled the DPRK’s debt to the Russian Federation. However, despite the elimination of this obstacle, economic cooperation between the countries has not yielded significant growth. Bilateral ties remained largely political and economic cooperation was symbolic. 

Bilateral relations were somewhat revitalized in 2014-2015. Two countries exchanged visits of high-level delegations and planned to increase bilateral trade volume to $1 billion by 2020 (until 2014, the trade between the Russian Federation and the DPRK for ten years fluctuated at the level of $ 100-150 million) [4]. The first shipment of coal from the Russian-owned and fully modernized pier in the Rason Free Zone was carried out and the launch of a large-scale joint project to reconstruct the North Korean railway network was discussed. In exchange Russian businesses and state corporations expected to get access to North Korean mineral deposits, including rare earth metals.

However, most of the projects and ideas did not move beyond discussions and the information noise around the “return of Moscow to Pyongyang” subsided by the end of 2015. Nor did the Russian “turn to the East” strategy, announced in 2012, bring significant results. In fact, it only led to the strengthening of Russia’s already close ties with China. Bilateral trade totalled to $93 million in 2014 thus showing a decrease instead of the planned tenfold increase [12]. To compare, the trade volume with China amounted to $6,9 billion dollars, which is 75 times bigger.

Activation of North Korean nuclear and missile program after the assumption of power by Kim Jong Un resulted in a number of UNSC resolutions and sanctions against the DPRK. As a result, the trade with North Korea has been monopolized by China. Russia’s opportunities for economic cooperation with the DPRK were significantly reduced. At the end of 2018, the trade between Russia and the DPRK amounted to $ 34.065 million, a decrease of 56.26% compared to 2017 [9].

Visit of Kim Jong Un in Vladivostok in April 2019 and his summit with Russian president gave a new impetus to bilateral relations. Trade amounted to $48 million, an increase of 40% compared to 2018. According to official data for 2019, Russia has become the main supplier of petroleum products to the DPRK [10]. 

During the 9th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation between Russia and the DPRK in March 2019 the countries reiterated their intent to increase bilateral trade. They also discussed joint projects in the field of transport, such as the construction of a road bridge over the Tumannaya River on the border between Russia and North Korea and further development of the Hasan-Rajin railway project.

The next, tenth meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission was scheduled for 2020 in Pyongyang, but the pandemic ruined those plans. The DPRK closed its borders, all planned meetings were cancelled and the trade stopped. At the moment, the countries are limited to bilateral consultations and cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. At the moment, the countries are limited to bilateral consultations and cooperation in the humanitarian sphere.

In February 2020, Russia sent 1.5 thousand coronavirus diagnostic test kits to the DPRK [8], and in May 2020 supplied a wheat in the amount of 25 thousand tons as humanitarian aid [11]. The issue of supplying Russian vaccines to the DPRK is being considered. The DPRK has expressed its interest in Russian vaccine [3], however has not made an unambiguous choice in favor of certain country’s vaccine, probably, for political reasons. When we speak about the suppliers of vaccine for the DPRK, China first comes to mind. However, China along with other big countries is blamed for using vaccine for spreading its geopolitical influence. It’s not far from the truth (what we see now is a real war of vaccines). The DPRK can’t accept only Chinese vaccine because it already heavily depends on China in economics. North Korean leadership will try to get different vaccines including Russian one in order to diversify the suppliers of vaccine as much as it is possible.

As for the other spheres of bilateral cooperation, the prospects seem vague at the moment. Despite the joint efforts of Russia and China on lifting sanctions against the DPRK in the UN Security Council (this work began before pandemic), there is still no progress. And there is little hope for this progress given the prolonged pause in the US-DPRK dialogue and the US’s unwillingness to change ineffective approaches to the DPRK.

Thus, the only viable project for economic cooperation between the countries after pandemic is still Hasan-Rajin project. However even its prospects are vague, due to political factors, both external and internal.

We should recognize that economic relations between Russia and North Korea are at an extremely low point now and have never been at high level despite the periods of revitalization mentioned above. The share of North Korea in the Russian economy is too small for Moscow to consider Pyongyang as an important economic partner. Economic influence of Russia can stand no comparison with China. It is too insignificant to make the DPRK consider cooperation with Russia a priority. Moreover, although sanctions (and pandemic since last year) are named the main reasons for the lack of a breakthrough in relations between two countries, it should be recognized that little progress was observed even before the sanctions were imposed and pandemic started. This means that the reasons should be sought in the political sphere. It is policy, rather than economy, that has been decisive in relations between Russia and the DPRK. Accordingly, the most serious problems arising in relations of two countries are of a political nature, too.


Influence of Inter-Korean relations

Despite ambitions and intentions of president Moon Jae-in to improve relations with the North South Koreans even did not join the Hasan-Rajin logistics project ― a part of the larger railway project ― that was one of the very few economic initiatives excluded from the U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea.

ROK, in fact, makes its participation in the projects of economic cooperation on the Korean Peninsula (whether these are Russian Trans-Korean projects, Chinese OBOR initiative or South Korean Eurasian integration initiatives) dependent on the improvement of inter-Korean relations. Given the fact that inter-Korean relations, in turn, are made by ROK government dependent on the denuclearization of the DPRK, this condition seems impossible: the failed US approach and the current level of the DPRK nuclear and missile program make any talks on its unilateral disarmament meaningless. Mentioning inter-Korean relations in connection with the projects of economic cooperation looks like an attempt to make Russia or China press on the DPRK and resolve notorious «nuclear issue». However, Russia does not have a real leverage on the DPRK. As for China, it has certain influence but it would press on the DPRK only to achieve its own goals, not those of ROK or any other country.

Another reason is that South Korean businesses seem to be reluctant to cooperate with North Korea even through mediatorship of Russia, being afraid of the possible unilateral U.S. sanctions [2]. ROK government failed to obtain sanctions relief and guarantees for South Korean businesses against legal harassment by the US in the case of their participation in such cooperation. South Korean businesses could take a risk if Inter-Korean normalization was  stable and prolonged. However inter-Korean dialogue that resumed in 2018 and was promising in the beginning, reached impasse.

Problem of relations between the DPRK and the US

Along with already mentioned problems there is a number of external factors impacting Russia-North Korea relations. First of all, it is the US-DPRK rivalry and efforts of the US to prevent inter-Korean relations from improvement using its influence on ROK. If Trans-Korean projects of economic cooperation are successfully implemented, there will be a real chance to improve inter-Korean relations, to start integration processes on the Korean Peninsula and to stabilize security in NEA. Stabilization of security environment on the Korean Peninsula would automatically call into question feasibility and legitimacy of the US military presence in the ROK and Japan. Notorious «North Korean threat» is only the pretext while the real target of the US presence is deterring China. And the US does not seem ready for direct military conflict with China.

So, it is in interests of the United States to hinder implementation of projects and development of economic relations between the countries, by provoking the DPRK, influencing the government of the ROK, etc. In turn, this creates almost insurmountable obstacles for Russia. The discussions of the gas pipeline and other Trans-Korean projects were postponed mainly due to destabilization on the Korean Peninsula with periodic tensions. Provocations and pressure of the US made the DPRK to demonstrate force and exposed it an unsafe territory for the pipeline. Bringing the Rajin project to its originally planned, trilateral format is also under the threat due to absence of any progress in inter-Korean relations.

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site


Nikolai I. Pereslavtsev

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Abstract: In his article, prepared in January-February, 2021, the author tells about the results of the 8th Congress of the Worker’s Party of Korea, held in Pyongyang in the first half of January, 2021. As well, based on these results, he makes his own original assumptions, assessments and conclusions about directions of possible future development of the domestic situation in the DPRK.

Keywords: Worker’s Party of Korea, 8th Congress, Pyongyang, Kim Jong Eun, economy, North Korea, small and medium-sized businesses

On January 5-12, 2021, in Pyongyang there happened 8th Congress of the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK), which attracted the attention of politicians, experts and everybody who has interest for situation in Asia-Pacific and around Korean Peninsula.

We have decided not to refer to other experts’ analyses (except for some facts taken from there) and to conduct our own research, relying mainly on the materials and decisions of the Congress. In principle, its results may be divided into several sections and for each of them we can make conclusions.

Policy and system of government  

As a remarkable feature of the forum, observers and experts call the organizers ‘ focus not only on the external effect (even a large-scale concert and a military parade took place), but also on miscalculations in the economy and party work. Accordingly, the statements that it is necessary to make efforts to correct them have been repeated many times. Kim Jong Eun said about that in his report, the same was repeated by many speakers. To overcome the negative phenomena, a whole system of measures has been proposed in state, economic and party areas.

It seems, however, that the presence of the stated shortcomings is not the only and not the main reason for calls for strengthening discipline, increasing the role of the WPK, etc.

In fact, at the 8th Congress we saw the attempts of the current generation of the North Korean leadership to modernize the system of government, make it more efficient and effective, to preserve the country, and, at the same time, the positions of power elite.

Throughout history, North Korea has tried different versions of this system – from relying on the sole authority of the leader (starting from Kim Il Sung) to the “priority of the army” (“songun” ideas) and a combination of “ economic and defense policy” (“pyongjin” ideas).

The common part in these variants is the presence of one or several “leading and guiding” forces, which are vitally interested in effective functioning of all elements of the power. It is necessary to understand that if such vital interest is present, then its owners will invest all their efforts in the preservation and development of the state, because not only their well-being, but also their very existence depends on it.

Of course, all this does not exclude the division of spheres of influence among rival groups.

Kim Il Sung, who had real authority among the people as the leader and founder of the DPRK, died, his son Kim Jong Il did not have the same personal qualities and charisma, so to overcome the significant difficulties happened in the 1990s and preserve the internal economic and social status quo in the country, he had to involve the army elite.

The authority of the Armed Forces was maintained not only by their defensive mission, but also by performing important national economic tasks. However, it gradually became clear that the army as the leading force of society and cheap army labor do not stimulate the economy, do not contribute to economic modernization, have a negative impact on social processes, the public atmosphere and even the image of North Korea abroad.

By the end of the 2000s, it becomes clear that the situation needs to be significantly changed. Kim Jong Il began to move in this direction, and Kim Jong Un continued and gradually has chosen the most optimal vector for the DPRK’s further development. During the period of his rule he took control of the army and after that put the military leaders in front of the fact that all power in the country, including control over the Armed Forces, is completely transferred to the Party. The 7th Congress of the WPK, held in May 2016, was an important sign of this turn.

By the way, during over 9 years of his rule Kim Jong Eun became the Chairman (and then the Secretary-General) of the Worker’s Party of Korea, Premier of the State Council (or, according to today’s translation in the DPRK, “President of the State Affairs”) and, of course, Commander-in-Chief, but this had little effect on the outward signs of reverence for his person. In public speeches he tells about the merits of his ancestors, talks a lot about the party and the masses. His birthday, January 8, has not yet become the state official holiday. On January 8-9, 2021, North Korea mass-media wrote about the 8th Party Congress, about congratulatory telegrams for the Congress, about economic achievements, about COVID pandemic all over the world but not about the birthday of the state leader. Though, it is well known fact that the anniversaries of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il (April 15 and February 16) are widely celebrated in the DPRK until now.

In his speech at the 8th Congress Kim spoke about the “joint system of management”, about the necessity of strengthening “fighting capacities and leading role” of the Party, about strengthening the “unity of command in ideological work”.

The Party officials and ordinary members must have the desire to learn and comprehend a new business, not just to exercise control over it. In general, the WPK authority ought to be risen even higher, to unapproachable level. In this connection, assigning a position of Secretary-General to Kim Jong Eun also is meaningful.  His grandfather and father also held this post, their authority reflected on their grandson and son should help strengthen the role of the Party in society.

In fact, the North Koreans here did not invent anything new, but used the Soviet and Chinese experience, adapting it to their country. It became clear that under international sanctions, the modernization of the country can only be carried out on its own (without help from abroad). However, those who “rise to attack” should be ideologically (and financially, by providing various preferences) motivated.

This, apparently, is what it had been decided to assign to the WPK. By strengthening the discipline the Party should encourage its members, and through them the rest of the citizens, to learn how to conduct business in the most important areas of economic construction, while continuously improving their skills. This, in theory, should contribute to making the economy more efficient.

What else should be noted?

The circle of Kim Jong Eun’s closest associates (Presidium of Politburo of the WPK Central Commitee) is including:

  • Choe Ryong Hae – member of Politburo, President of the Presidium of Supreme People’s Assembly, Vice Marshal of Korean People’s Army;
  • Ri Byong Chol – member of Politburo, Secretary of Central Committee, Vice-president of the WPK Central Military Committee, Kim Jong Eun’s closest advisor on military questions;
  • Kim Dok Hun – member of Politburo, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, i.e – main expert and specialist on economic items among the associates of the Marshal and the Secretary -General. By the way, his predecessor Kim Chae-ryong remains the member of Politburo and the Supreme People’s Assembly, heads the Department in the WPK Central Committee;
  • Cho Yong Won – member of Politburo and the WPK Central Military Committee, Secretary of the Central Committee, he is considered as Kim Jong Eun’s protégé and his advisor on Party questions.

That is, the composition of the “narrow circle” is in principle clear: around the head of state the chief officials of the legislative, executive, party and military authorities are grouped. They are the ones who make the most important decisions on the life of the country today.

It is noteworthy that Politburo does not include the Secretary-General’s sister Kim Yo Jong, who got only a modest position as a member of the Central Committee, Deputy-head in the Department of agitation and propaganda.

Back in the past, in 2020, she was promised the role of almost the head of state, instead of her brother, who, allegedly, was so ill that he was ready to give up his post. But now we see that Kim Jong Eun is quite healthy and active (in any case, he has endured the week of the Congress without any apparent efforts) and is not going to give up his post to anyone.

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site


Sergei M. Smirnov

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Abstract: The article attempts to analyze the roots and driving factors of current stalemate in Korean reconciliation processes. The author describes recent trends and faults in the policy of key actors relating to Korean Peninsula and elaborates on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on regional political and economic environment. In conclusion, cautious optimism about the possibility of resuming peace processes on the peninsula is expressed, in particular with introduction of network-centric technologies at the level of economics and diplomacy.

Key words: Korean Peninsula, Six-Party talks, sanctions, PyeoungChang Spirit, COVID-19 pandemic

The process of normalizing the situation on the Korean Peninsula, after the dramatic events of 2018, which gave hope for a quick and decisive success, is now at a standstill. We can hardly see any area where progress nay be achieved, to say nothing about a breakthrough. The COVID-19 pandemic has almost nothing to do with current situation.

Let us consider several factors that contributed to the development of a negative scenario.

First, this is the selfish policy of the countries that were once participants in the Six-Party talks. This term attributes to all countries without exception. The format of Six-Party talks is not mentioned by chance – formally, this mechanism still exists, career diplomats representing their states continue to imitate activities, calmly waiting for retirement benefits. Political scientists also periodically recall the Six-Party talks, elaborating on the possibility of its transformation into a permanent regional security structure.

The main disappointment, undoubtedly, is the failure of Washington’s “cavalry attack” attempt to resolve “overnight” the sluggish crisis on the Korean Peninsula.  In my opinion, ex-President Trump missed his historic chance when, at the summit in Hanoi, he applied not the wisdom of a true political leader, but the negotiation tactics of a corporate executive. However, Trump is actually a businessperson who had managed to occupy the Oval Office by chance, without going through any of the obligatory stages of public service. It was not worth insisting on the deliberately unacceptable conditions of “complete and unconditional renunciation of the nuclear program”; it was necessary to agree on a formal end to the Korean War and the conclusion of a peace treaty instead.  It was also imperative to involve the most interested party in negotiations with the DPRK – the Republic of Korea. That would practically guarantee Trump the Nobel Peace Prize and a second term in the White House.

The decisive steps of President Biden to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, which his three predecessors dreamed of but did not dare to do, inspire a certain optimism. Let us hope that the Democratic administration will act with the same rationality and pragmatism with regard to the Korean Peninsula. In the 1990s, it was under the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton that the US-North Korean relations moved off the ground and the “Framework agreement” on the DPRK’s nuclear program was concluded. The Republican majority in Congress later thwarted its implementation, but today the initiatives of the Biden administration are much easier to pass through the Capitol Hill.

The Republic of Korea has also not fully realized its chance to move closer to national reconciliation. The powerful impetus of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics with a single team of the two Korean states lasted a little over a year, and after the failure of the Hanoi Summit, RoK’s initiative seems to have dwindled. President Moon Jae-in may have tried too hard to accommodate the unpredictable Donald Trump, and it is likely that the conservative South Korean establishment has successfully sabotaged the president’s attempts to force the process of national reconciliation in Korea. In any case, Moon Jae-in’s tenure at the Blue House is ending, and he failed to do even the minimum necessary – to repeal the National Security Law or even the odious May 24 sanctions.

China is pursuing perhaps the most consistent policy towards the Korean Peninsula. Xi Jinping, who positions himself as a tough authoritarian leader, adheres to a strictly pragmatic approach to the DPRK. Beijing did not hesitate to support UN Security Council Resolutions 2270, 2321, 2371, 2375, imposing tough sanctions against North Korea, because they did not harm the Chinese economy, to some extent protected the PRC labor market from North Korean immigrants, and maximized North Korea’s overall dependence upon the PRC.

Beijing is quite happy with the current situation around the DPRK. One can only guess how much the Chinese leadership “contributed” to the slowdown of the 2018-2019 detente processes. In any case, China (Russia as well) defiantly ignored the ‘PyeongChang Spirit’ rallies that took place in South Korea after the Olympics. In the foreseeable future, Beijing will try to maintain a monopoly position on the DPRK’s foreign trade market, maintain stability and order in the North, ensure that no external force is used against Pyongyang and, at the same time, toughly suppress any attempts by the DPRK to diversify its foreign policy. In this regard, one cannot expect the emergence of new radical initiatives on the Korean Peninsula on the part of the PRC.

The policy of Japan towards the DPRK may also be called consistent. However, this “consistency” is distinguished by passivity and gradual withdrawal from participation in solving the most pressing regional problems. In fact, after the Koizumi-Kim Jong Il summit in 2002, Tokyo did not put forward a single real initiative to resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula [1]. It seems that Japan is gradually moving towards a “New Isolationism”, which is facilitated by the peculiarities of the national mentality and the development of virtual reality technologies. A good example of this is the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, held in August 2021, with empty stands, closed borders and restrictions on sexual and personal interaction between the participants.

Russia‘s policy towards the DPRK is very peculiar. On the one hand, Russia had written off almost the entire national debt of the DPRK in 2014 without any real obligations of compensation on the part of Pyongyang. “Russian Railways” paid for most of the project cost to modernize the Rajin – Khasan railway, but since 2015 there has been no noticeable increase in freight traffic along this line [2]. On the other hand, Russia did not use its veto right when voting on UN Security Council resolutions imposing tough economic sanctions against the DPRK. Moreover, the ban on the use of labor force from the DPRK abroad, introduced by these sanctions, is definitely not beneficial to Russia. North Korean construction and agricultural workers covered a significant part of the labor market needs in the Far East of the Russian Federation, and there is no one to replace them.

Maybe it is worth agreeing with the opinion of some experts that for Russia, despite its declared ‘Pivot to the East’ policy, the North Korean affairs are considered secondary, and that Moscow has recognized the DPRK as the Chinese sphere of influence [3]. Nevertheless, everything is much more complicated and confusing in this issue. The principle of ‘equidistance’ in relations between Russia and the two Korean states creates a good basis for maintaining the potential for “strategic mediation”. The attitude of the Russian Federation to the problem of the DPRK’s nuclear status seems to be rational and pragmatic. The same pragmatism Russia should apply in other areas, in particular, in the issue of national reunification, the signing of a peace treaty that puts an end to the 1950-1953 Korean War and in bilateral trade with the DPRK. North-East Asia in the first half of the XXI Century is fundamentally different from Europe at the end of the XX Century, when Germany united and the Warsaw Pact collapsed. For Russia, the emergence of a unified Korean state should be regarded not as a threat, but as favorable opportunity in all respects.

DPRK is not behaving very constructively, too. Indeed, there is a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and long-range ballistic missile launches, which is undoubtedly good. However, it is impossible to say with certainty whether the reason for the introduction of this moratorium was the desire to demonstrate good will to the world or simply the lack of available technical and financial resources to carry out these very costly activities. We observed an inadequate reaction on the part of Pyongyang in connection with minor incidents near the DMZ, for example, the demonstrative destruction of the inter-Korean communications center in Kaesong in June 2020. Propaganda and tactical considerations clearly prevailed over long-term strategic priorities, because such actions only contribute to the chances of South Korean conservatives (strongly opposed to the DPRK) to come to power next spring. Later, Pyongyang apparently realized that loyal partners in the South were preferable to outright opponents, and agreed to restore a “hot line” of communication between the two countries from July 27, 2021 [4].

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site



Valentin I.Voloshchak

Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok

Anastasia R. Bezotosova

Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok

Abstract: The article focuses on the challenges and threats that are faced by the US-ROK alliance in recent years. The authors provide an analysis of major tasks, objectives and problems of the alliance drawing upon the official documents of ROK and the US, as well as their joint statements and other documents. An attempt is taken to assess the future directions of the US-ROK allied relations after assumption of office by the US President J. Biden. The authors conclude that the US will shift away from Trump’s pragmatic approach and adopt more cooperative and constructive model of relations with South Korea. This is particularly evidenced by successful reaching of SMA agreement in March 2021, which was possible, according to authors’ opinion, on conditions of Seoul’s agreement to invest in cooperation with WHO and US-led projects in Central America.

Keywords: US-ROK alliance, security, ROK, US, Korean Peninsula, defense


The alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) has deep historical roots that are traced back at least to 1953, when Mutual Defense Treaty was signed by Seoul and Washington. Over these years, the relations between two allies have been evolving in accordance with changes in regional and global security environment and have always had its uncertainties and contradictions. The basic strategic tasks faced by allies – to counter North Korean threat and to ensure the containment of China – have remained unchanged and, in many respects, continue to shape the overall strategy of the US-ROK alliance. However, due to the increased ROK’s influence in international politics and numerous developments in world’s geopolitical landscape, some new priorities and challenges to the alliance have emerged recently.

The beginning of the latest stage of relations between Seoul and Washington can be judged to come at 2016-2017 period, when new administrations in both states came to power. In South Korea, Moon Jae-in won presidential elections in 2017 amid the strong public disapproval of corruption scandal surrounding then-incumbent President Park Geun-hye and mass anti-Park protest movement (aka Candlelight Revolution) which eventually led to her impeachment. One of the major pillars of ROK’s new foreign policy, formulated by Moon Jae-in, was aimed at reconciliation with the DPRK and pursuit of peaceful denuclearization of Korean Peninsula based on diplomatic dialogue between two Korean states. In the US, D.J. Trump surprisingly won presidential elections in 2016, and his foreign policy course was in a way unorthodox for the American strategic culture: in particular, Trump has been criticizing the degree of Washington’s involvement in cooperation with its military allies throughout the world and insisting on reduction of the US’ financial contribution to the US-ROK alliance. These circumstances have shaped the objectives and strategic posture of the alliance.

Today, however, it can be said that this stage in US-ROK relations may be over, since inter-Korean rapprochement efforts have practically come to naught, meanwhile new J. Biden administration aims to rethink the Trump’s model of security partnership with South Korea by adopting more cooperative and constructive approach. In this respect, in the present article we will focus on the assessment of major challenges to the US-ROK alliance that appeared in recent years and the attempt to identify the future directions of the alliance’s development considering the changing situation.

The current challenges faced by US-ROK alliance

The alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea focuses on containing and preventing the threat posed by the nuclear and ballistic missile programs of North Korea. The 2014 redaction of Defense White Paper – major official document of South Korean defense politics – stated that protecting the country from external military threats and invasions means being prepared to meet the present military threats from North Korea and, at the same time, being prepared to meet other potential threats to peace and security [1]. Since the 1990s, the main strategy of the US–ROK security alliance to mitigate the persistent threat has been negotiating with North Korea to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. However, all efforts were unsuccessful to date [3].

In 2017, the US and South Korea entered a period of political changes and diplomatic challenges. The security and stability were disrupted by numerous missile launches on the Korean peninsula that had demonstrated the potential of North Korean nuclear weapon development programs. Nevertheless, the new South Korean administration, headed by President Moon Jae-in, stressed the importance of building and strengthening trusting relationship with North Korea to achieve lasting peace in the region. The diplomatic efforts of the new administration resulted in the adoption of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula that was signed during the inter-Korean summit in the joint Security Area at Korean Demilitarized Zone in April 2018. The parties agreed to work together to alleviate the military tension and eliminate the danger of war on the Korean peninsula [10]. Moreover, the parties confirmed their commitment to achieving a nuclear-free Korean peninsula through complete denuclearization.

The latest Defense White Paper 2018 describes in detail the key elements of the South Korean defense policy, specifically strengthening the US–ROK alliance, achieving the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and countering the nuclear and ballistic missile threats of North Korea. In contrast to previous documents that defined North Korea as an enemy, the Defense White Paper 2018 states, “any force that threatens and violates the sovereignty, territory, people, and properties of the Republic of Korea as an enemy”  [2], not addressing specifically to North Korea. Thus, the document acknowledges the diplomatic achievements made during the adoption of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula as it provided the basis for easing tensions and strengthening good neighborliness on the Korean Peninsula. However, the document also enshrines that the ongoing development of the North Korean nuclear program poses a threat to peace and security in the region.

Subsequently, a series of summits were held during 2018–2019 and raised hope for a diplomatic resolution of the nuclear and ballistic missile threats of North Korea. In June 2018, the US and North Korean leaders held a historic meeting in Singapore, where President Trump pledged to provide security guarantees to North Korea, whereas Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula [7]. However, the high-level dialogue was suspended after the leaders failed to reach agreements and sign a joint document during the North Korea–US Hanoi Summit in February 2019. North Korean side insisted on the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the US, which certainly could not guarantee the American administration the complete suspension of the development of the nuclear program.

Therefore, today the key priority for South Korea in frames of the US–ROK security alliance is the resumption of high-level dialogue with North Korea. Despite the fact that North Korea supports a voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile tests since November 2017, the regime unveiled a new intercontinental ballistic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile during the military parade in honor of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party in October 2020. Thus, the continued development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs poses an extraordinary threat to the US and allies in the region.

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site

North Korea in the Fight Against Coronavirus: Strengthening Self-Reliance

Larisa V. Zabrovskaya

Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East,
Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok

Abstract: The actions of the DPRK authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country were studied. The sequence of measures taken by the authorities was traced. The nature of personnel changes has been determined; the reasons for the authorities’ self-criticism identified. The article revealed new trends in the control methods by the North Korean leadership. The role of Kim Chen Un in promoting bi-lateral relations with ROK has been determined. The tasks of the Party and the country were investigated based on the materials of the 8th Congress of the WPK.

Keywords: DPRK, COVID-19 pandemic, Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, 8th Congress of the WPK

The DPRK is an unusual country. Everything that happens there depends on one person – the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Un, who has concentrated all military and political power in his hands. Before drawing conclusions and predictions about the ways of the DPRK’s exit from the difficult period of its history associated with the coronavirus pandemic, it is necessary to analyze the important events of 2020, which passed under the sign of the need to maintain the health of the country’s population and preserve state power for the Kim family.

Measures against coronavirus

After the first reports from southern China about the rise of a new virus disease among the Chinese population, the DPRK authorities decided to undertake appropriate measures to protect their own citizens. In 2020, Kim Jong-un missed his Orient New Year’s address to the people, as it was not clear how much the pandemic would affect the DPRK, and therefore there was no point in planning the progress of the further development of the economy and defining other tasks. As the epidemic got out of control in China, the DPRK began to take preventive measures, primarily by closing the 1200-kilometer Sino-North Korean border on February 13. Given the limited capacity of North Korean health care, the DPRK authorities have introduced 30-day quarantine for all visitors from overseas. Air flights and rail links with China were suspended, which made it difficult to deliver humanitarian aid to the DPRK [Lobov, p. 54-55].

      Hundreds of small mobile medical teams investigated all suspicious cases domestically. The checkpoints monitored the symptoms of colds and fever in the population. Broadcasts from loudspeakers brought to the attention of the people about the danger of the new disease and how to protect themselves from it. Senior officials led by Premier Kim Jae Ryong traveled across the country to investigate the extent of the shortage of food, medicine and electricity. As the pandemic spread in neighboring countries, the North Korean authorities constantly announced that there were no COVID-19 cases among the citizens of the DPRK. Sick foreigners were isolated and, as far as possible, sent back home. With such strict measures, large-scale outbreaks and, possibly, full scale COVID-19 epidemic were prevented in the DPRK (in contrast to the ROK).            

Kim Jong Un continued to focus on health issues throughout the spring and summer 2020. He conducted inspection visits to hospitals in Pyongyang and regions. The incident in Kaesong with a South Korean defector infected with COVID-19 was of particular concern to the authorities. The city was blocked for the next three weeks. Authorities have raised their vigilance across the country.

The severity and uncompromising nature of the border closure was demonstrated on September 21, 2020 when a North Korean naval patrol discovered a border trespasser in the East Sea, shot and burned his boat and drowned the trespasser himself. However, later it turned out that it was an officer of the South Korean fisheries department, who simply got lost in open sea. In this regard, Kim Jong Un sent Moon Jae In a conciliatory letter of apology, but this incident left an unpleasant aftertaste for the South Korean public. As a result, the number of defectors from both sides has dropped sharply.

As China’s coronavirus-ridden territory expanded, the DPRK government sent humanitarian aid in the form of medical masks. In a letter to Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un noted that this small load of aid, although “symbolic, is intended to help a friendly country at least a little” [KCNA, February 1, 2020]. The move was taken in the hope that when the DPRK needs similar assistance, China will also help.

The DPRK authorities became seriously worried at the end of February 2020, when the South Korean city of Daegu became a hotbed of the spread of COVID-19. Kim Jong Un convened the Politburo of the WPK Central Committee, at which the issues of protecting the population from a pandemic and a possible aggravation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula were discussed. He then took over the leadership of the military exercise, started by practice bombing drill at an island in the harbor of Wonsan port and then supervised the tests of short-range missiles (KCNA, March 3, 2020). At the same time, his sister Kim Yo Jong criticized the South Korean military for a series of tests of the new ‘Hyunmu-4’ ballistic missile with a range of 800 km.

In addition to supervising military maneuvers, Kim Jong Un sought to demonstrate that “the life and health of people is the most important state matter for him” (KCNA, April 3, 2020). He announced the start of construction of a modern medical facility in Pyongyang.

Despite the expansion of the area covered by the coronavirus pandemic in neighboring countries, the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK convened in April 2020, at which the work of the Cabinet of Ministers was criticized for “serious mistakes.” Senior government officials were required to observe the principle of “subordinate everything to the health and safety of the people” (KCNA, 13 Apr. 2020). The meeting approved a 7% increase in government spending on health care and left the defense budget unchanged. Personnel changes took place, including the replacement the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security. After that, Kim Jong Un limited his public appearance, most likely due to the spread of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, his sister showed activity and in early June made another condemnation of the ROK ruling circles, this time for permission to launch balloons with anti-North Korean leaflets along the demilitarized zone. In addition, Pyongyang’s anger sparked with the election of former North Korean defectors in the South Korean parliament (National Assembly). On this occasion, mass rallies were held in the DPRK, where the defectors were declared “human scum”. In addition, Kim Yo Jong ordered the demolition of the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, which effectively terminated the communication channel with Seoul operated for nearly 20 years after the first inter-Korean summit.

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site


Yuri A. Komarovskiy

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Vladimir A. Katz

Institute of Automation and Control Processes, FEBRAS, Vladivostok

Abstract: The article summarizes the intermediate results of the study on the reliability of ship GNSS receivers. The forthcoming introduction of unmanned navigation service dictates the need for such study. Failures of shipborne satellite receivers occur due to external or internal factors. The article describes external factors, due to the influence of which operable receivers can completely stop determining the coordinates and speed of the vessel or determine them with unacceptable errors. An analysis of the failures detected in the operation of the ship SGN-500 Glonass / GPS-receiver produced by “Samyung” is given. To simulate the discovered phenomenon, the regularity of the occurrence of failures was presented as a random stream of events formalized in the form of a homogeneous Markov chain. Based on the results of the study, assumptions concerning the causes of the failures were made.

Keywords: Glonass/GPS-receiver, unmanned surface vessel, reliability, failure, interruption, failure rate, Markov chain, transition probability matrix

Satellite navigation equipment has been used on ships for several decades. The Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers, throughout the whole period of existence, have been studied mainly to assess its accuracy of determining the current coordinates and parameters of the ship’s absolute speed vector. Their reliability, which directly affects not only the efficiency of the ship’s control system, but also its safety, has not yet attracted proper attention from researchers. Moreover, one has to deal with a widespread opinion among navigators about the unsurpassed reliability characteristics of GNSS receivers in comparison with other shipboard electronic devices. The fact is that the first shipborne GNSS receivers were designed and manufactured by companies that had extensive experience in the production of electronic equipment for the needs of the navies. Therefore, the malfunctions of the first GNSS receivers in the overwhelming majority of cases occurred due to mechanical damage to the antennas and cables connecting them. Nowadays, qualitative changes are taking place in the positioning of the GNSS receivers, their operational environment, and the appearance of a new element base for this equipment. A modern ship owner, when purchasing a GNSS receiver, usually prefers to buy inexpensive models. Nevertheless, world shipping is entering a qualitatively new stage in its development, associated with the introduction of autonomous (unmanned) and remotely controlled vessels (ARCV)[1], which will need a different approach to formulating the requirements for the reliability of GNSS receivers. The goal of this article is to describe the types and causes of malfunctions and failures, paying more attention to the study of failures in the operation of GNSS receivers.

The fundamental concept in the reliability of technical devices is the concept of a “perfect state”. According to the federal standard, this is “the state of the product in which it meets all the requirements established in its technical description”. Therefore, if the product does not meet at least one requirement, then the product should be considered as “imperfect state” [1].

Another important concept is the principle of an “up state”. This condition is considered to be such that the product is capable of performing the functions prescribed by its technical description. However, the lack of necessary external resources can hinder the operation of the device. These resources include, for example, power supply. An inoperative, or “down state” condition is defined by the federal standard as “such in which the object is not able to perform at least one required function for reasons depending on its technical condition or due to repairs or preventive maintenance”. Therefore, an inoperative (“down state”) device is always faulty.

With regard to shipborne GNSS-receivers, an inoperative state due to internal technical reasons quite often occurs on sailing ships, on which the impact of running rigging leads to the appearance of imperceptible cracks in the antenna housing, due to which its tightness is broken. Moisture gradually gets inside, causing corrosion and ultimately malfunction of the antenna. In this case, the GNSS-receiver becomes inoperative, despite the fact that in overwhelming majority of cases the built-in verification test shows the opposite.

When the navigators input the erroneous initial data, it may cause a complete loss of the receiver’s performance or a significant deterioration in the accuracy of determining the coordinates and the vector of the absolute speed of the ship. This is the example when the ship’s GNSS-receiver is up state, but still inoperative. Most often this happens when the geodetic coordinate system is incorrectly specified which could lead to grounding and collisions with stationary coastal structures.

As follows from [1], the up state concept is associated with compliance with the values ​​of the technical and operational characteristics prescribed in the technical manual of the device. When operating some types of GNSS-receivers at sea, it turns out that not all characteristics necessary for navigators were specified in the manuals. Examples are Icom’s GP-270ML and Furuno’s SGN-500 receivers. The first one does not determine the absolute velocity vector modulus less than 1 knot, and the second – less than 2 knots. These characteristics are omitted in their respective manuals. As a result, both the GP-270ML and SGN-500 are useless when mooring and anchoring the vessel. The manuals of other types of GNSS-receivers do not indicate the characteristics of the accuracy of determining vessel speed when it is close to zero.

Analysis of documents [2] – [4] allows us to make a cautious conclusion that it is quite possible that prototypes of autonomous or remotely controlled ships without onboard crew will appear after 2025. The technologies based on the reception and processing of GNSS signals, as well as signals from ground and space systems for broadcasting differential corrections (DC) like DGNSS (Differential Global Navigation Satellite Systems) form the basis of modern navigation. GNSS – receivers and DC-receivers associated with the former serve as the main sensors of the current values ​​of geodetic coordinates, roll and trim, course and rate of change of course, as well as the vector of the absolute vessel speed. Thus, they form the information basis for the operational decision-making concerning the ship’s movement without the participation of the navigator. Therefore, the trouble-free operation of these sensors becomes a fundamental condition for the effective and safe navigation of the ARCVs.

Failure is an event that violates the operational state of an object [1]. Let us consider external factors that lead to failures of ship GNSS and DC receivers.

The complete cessation of obtaining the current coordinates of the vessel and the vector of its absolute speed, as well as the appearance of significant errors in serviceable receivers of the GNSS can occur as a result of the effects of industrial interference, deliberate spread-spectrum interference (jamming) and spoofing. At present, jamming and spoofing may be carried out for hooligan purposes, as well as serve as means of counteraction both at the level of commercial competition or at the interstate level including military cyber warfare activities. Therefore, these types of radio interference have already become a serious obstacle in the recognition of ship GNSS receivers as the main source of operational data for ARCV navigation.

Incorrect operation of the ship’s GNSS receiver can be caused by a malfunction of at least one satellite of the orbital constellation. In such cases, smooth deviations of coordinates by almost 1 km and speed by 15 knots were observed on a stationary vessel [5]. In the history of each currently operating GNSS without exception, events occurred during which the system either completely ceased operation, or its incorrect signals led to large errors in the coordinates of ships. This, in particular, explains the appearance of multisystem receivers on ships, as well as individual receivers of different satellite systems. This raises the problem of creating automatic online diagnostics of an incorrectly operating receiver or GNSS.

Significant errors accompany the operation of the GNSS receivers when the ship moves near high banks or structures that create obstacles to the propagation of satellite signals to the ship. Ship’s satellite compasses, for example, sometimes even stop working in such navigational conditions.

The instability of the trans-ionosphere channel for the propagation of satellite signals leads to an increase in random errors in determining the coordinates and velocity during geomagnetic disturbances. Strong magnetic storms can cause even long-term complete cessation of the normal operation of the receiver [6]. Fluctuations of the observed coordinates of the GNSS receivers also occur due to the flickering of the ionosphere. The instability of the ionosphere significantly manifests when navigating the high latitudes.

[1] the abbreviation MASS – Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships – is commonly used in the English-language maritime publications, we prefer ARCV as more inclusive term

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site



Aleksandr V. Savelyev

JSC “Russian Ecological Alliance” (“REA-Consulting”), Vladivostok

Abstract: The article is devoted to the assessment of ice conditions in the area of the Northeastern shelf of the Sakhalin Island. The author describes the ice main phases (periods of ice forming and ice melting), ice thickness, types and shapes of ice, ice concentration, ice drift velocity and other aspects. 

Keywords: Shelf of the Sakhalin Island, ice phases, age structure and forms of the ice, ice concentration, ice drift


Ice cover is one of the important factors that pose a serious threat to marine hydrotechnical structures. The eastern shelf of the Sakhalin Island is now actively developed due to the search and production of hydrocarbon raw materials in this region. Therefore, knowledge of ice characteristics in a given area, such as ice thickness, types and shapes of ice, ice drift velocity, etc., allows you to assess the level of ice loads and solve the important task of ensuring the safety of maritime operations.


The main sources to determine the dates of the main ice phases beginning were the data of long-term observations at the coastal hydrometeorological station (HMS) Odoptu.  As well, the description of ice formation’ dates right on the shelf’s open water area, ice distribution boundaries, closeness of ice, its age structure and forms is based on the information of Database of the Sea of Okhotsk ice cover. This Database had been compiled by Pacific Oceanographic Institute (POI) [1, 6] and consists of time rows of two-dimensional fields of ice characteristics: ice concentration, age (thickness), shape (size of ice floes) of the prevailing  ice types, in grid squares of 1° in longitude and 0.5°, latitude, for the period 1961-2011.

For the first time, instrumental observations of ice drift were carried out over a number of years using radar stations (RS) [2,9]. To calculate the characteristics of ice drift, we used observation data of the coastal radar stations: Odoptu (1985-1996), Levenshtern (1992-1996) and Comrvo (1991-1993). To analyze the ice drift, we also used aerial photography and remote sensing data from space, using “RESURS”, “Terra”, and “Aqua” satellites [3, 4]. In addition, in the period 1993-1994, on the Northeastern shelf of the Sakhalin Island general ice drift was measured using “ARGOS” buoys.

As well, the information from already published literary sources has been used. [5, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19]


The earliest date of the ice appearance near the coast of considered area is November 7, the latest date of ice appearance – December 18 (Table 1). The very first ice appearance on the open part of the Sakhalin shelf, according to the results of archive information about ice situation [1], is noted, as a rule, in the middle of November third decade (1970, 1974, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1989), January first decade, at the latest (1982, 2005, 2006, Table 2). 

Table1. Main elements of ice regime according to the data of coastal observations at the Odoptu hydro-meteorological station

Table2. Terms of the main ice phases on the open part of the Sakhalin Island Northeastern shelf [1]

For a short period, the first ice is not stable, occupies a small area, and can be easily carried out to open sea. Stable ice formation occurs, as a rule, no later than ten days from the moment of the first appearance of the ice and is observed, on average, off the coast in mid-November, and in the open water area – in the first or second decade of December.
Since mid-April, spring processes of ice cover destruction begin to prevail. In May, there is an intense melting and destruction of ice. The ice edge is shifting towards the shore. In June, the final disintegration of the ice fields to broken forms occurs, the young ice disappears, and only first-year ice is observed in the ice mass. The most intense ice melting occurs in coastal and near-shore zones. According to coastal observations, the early date of complete ice removal is in Mid-May, the late date is in the first decade of July. Final ice removal in the open water area occurs usually in the first decade of June.
The earliest date of complete ice removal in the open water area is in the middle (1998) or in the end of May (1970, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1995-96, 2000), the latest date – beginning of July (1979, 1987, 1991, 2003). Average duration of ice period is 18 decades; duration of ice-free period is also 18 decades. Terms of navigation period may be expanded to the certain extent because the small ice volumes in the beginning and in the end of ice period don’t obstacle the navigation. The navigation period includes, on average, 20 decades, since the first decade of June to the second decade of December. 
In Tables 3 and 4 we can see the distribution of ice age and ice                                                                                                                                                          prevailing forms (linear sizes) in the area of the Sakhalin Island Northeastern shelf according to research results of the Pacific Oceanographic Institute [1,6].
Near the Sakhalin coast the ice formation begins from new ice with a thickness up to 5 cm (frazil ice, grease ice, shuga, slush) which in the period of frequent autumn storms are thrown by the waves to the shore where they form ice fronts with a height up to 3-5 m.  
Table3. Seasonal distribution of ice age in the area of the Sakhalin Northeastern shelf [1]
Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site


Nikita V. Shcherbinin

Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping, St.Petersburg

Abstract: The article analyses container shipping origin and its development as well as the present situation in this sphere of logistics. The author gives a detailed description of the essential equipment for container handling. This article discusses the most prospective projects in the container traffic industry, such as different terminal systems and cargo-handling equipment. It also considers the cargo works automatization issue, the main producers of automatized container handling facilities and the list of fully automated terminals.

Keywords: ISO-container, container traffic evolution, container terminal, container handling equipment, terminal system, mechanization, automatization


In the first half of the 20th century the knowledge of how to transport cargo was limited. Of course, there were methods that demanded a lot of effort and time: a manual method when a porter had to take cargo and deliver it on board; the use of pipelines to fill tanks with liquid cargo; a method of loading/discharging bulk cargoes (ore, coal, etc.) on board with the help of carts and shovels. It was really hard to find a solution to facilitate the above mentioned processes. For example, it had taken time before people started to use tankers and pipelines for liquid cargoes, bulkers (specialized vessels) and clamshell buckets as well as conveyor belts to handle bulk cargoes.

As for break-bulk cargo (or general cargo), it is very sensitive, takes up a lot of space, needs to be protected and packaged well. Manual cargo operations with break-bulk cargoes such as boxes, barrels, bags, bales packs took plenty of physical power, these operations were outdated, unsafe and demanded a lot of porters to perform. It was also extremely costly. However, there was an advantage – labor unions were happy, because such operations offered a big number of workplaces for unqualified staff. Definitely, something had to be changed.

One day an American businessman, Malcom Purcell McLean arrived at the port of Hoboken to complete some formalities [9]. While he was doing it, he noticed that a lorry driver had been waiting for loading all the workday. Then Mr. McLean had a thought about how to improve this branch of logistics: instead of loading only boxes on board, he offered to load them together with trucks [10]. The idea paid off – it reduced expenses and saved time. After this success Mr. McLean did not want to stop progressing, so he purchased the tanker IDEAL X in order to conduct his experiments. Eventually, he achieved his goal, having invented a cargo container [6]. In 1956 Malcolm initiated the first sea container shipment in humankind history from Newark to Houston and this event became his triumph. Could you imagine that prices for containerized shipments cost 37.5 times less in comparison with the ones using manual labour? Not surprisingly, the demand on container shipments increased because of all advantages it had brought, container shipping services were extended to Southeast Asia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong [5]. Labor unions were very disappointed, because the most part of porters had been replaced by cranes, machinery and containers; however, other participants of the transport branch were satisfied.

The introduction of containers in logistics branch brought along some obvious benefits: cargo operations efficiency increased, ISO-container standards were universal for many kinds of cargo facilities, total time for cargo operations decreased sharply, the amount of needed packing material was also reduced, but the main advantage was an opportunity to perform intermodal shipments (i.e. shipments by two and even more modes of transport) [4].


It is a well-known fact that such ports as Hamburg, Rotterdam, Shanghai, Singapore, Busan, Antwerp and other worldwide known container ports are equipped with up-to-date machinery to handle containers rapidly and safely.

Let’s get started with port Shanghai. Its annual turnover in twenty-foot equivalent equals to 43,5 million TEU. The first state-of-the-art technology is a comprehensive video surveillance system, which helps crane operators and truck drivers connect with the head office of the certain terminal of port Shanghai to learn which container they have to load or discharge. At the same time such system enables operators of the head office to watch the current situation on the quays, container yards and other places in the port, to cooperate with stevedores and truck drivers, to provide colleagues with the needed data. Also each lorry driver and crane operator has his/her own portable computer, so even a performer knows which container he/she is handling.

By the way, even Russian companies admit that remote monitoring of crane indicators is a vital aspect of container traffic. A Russian producer of handling equipment “CMM” states that increasing crane payload and performance, inventing and deployment of remote monitoring of equipment is a priority of container shipping trend, and “CMM” company processes in this direction.

STS – ship to shore container gantry crane – is an extremely important facility to handle containers. These machines are able to perform loading and discharging container vessels. Terminal Eurogate of port Hamburg has 23 container gantries, and there also is an advantageous facility: a straddle carrier (also called “container truck”) to transport containers from harbor to container area, from container area to lorry.

Using straddle carriers instead of enormous RTG-cranes can bring such profit as mobility, high speed of cargo operations, unlimited routes of SC movements, a big amount of unengaged space. However, there are also some disadvantages – using a straddle carrier means limited height of container stack (only 3-4 containers in height) and therefore a limited payload of the facility…In case of terminal Eurogate, a STS discharges a container from the board, then a straddle carrier takes the container, transports it to the container area, after that the straddle carrier loads it on to lorry, or vice versa: the straddle carrier brings a container on the quay, the STS takes it and loads on board. These operations seem to be easy and the whole process is certainly rapid, clear, safe and modern.

Another port worth mentioning is the port of Busan, which uses another device to stack containers, called RTG-crane (rubber tired gantry cranes). A crane operator is able to take and put containers in stack with ease because of particular RTG-crane advantages: it can work with tall container stacks (five containers in height), it has good performance and big value of its payload, it moves along the assigned lane and this simplifies its exploitation. RTG-cranes also have a couple of disadvantages, such as limited routes of their exploitation, quite slow speed and too huge size. Despite all pros and cons, RTG-cranes are well adapted to work without crane-operators, and some stevedoring companies have already used this opportunity to automatize cargo operations.

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site


Yuri V. Vedernikov

Naval Engineer, Senior Research Fellow,

Museum of Russian Submarine History, St. Petersburg

Abstract: China’s economic infiltration into the global space is multifaceted and multi-vector, and has a deeper nature than it might seem at first glance. In this movement, the key role belongs to the port infrastructure, through which the “Middle Kingdom” is consolidating its presence in a particular region of the world in private and the result is Beijing’s efforts to “Go Outside” in general. The article brought to your attention is exclusively of an overview nature, giving a general idea of ​​the subject of research, which is objectively limited by the framework of a journal publication.

Keywords:  seaport terminals, Belt and Road Initiave, Chinese investment, hub port, port management

The foreign economic dominant in the development of China dates back to 1998, with the beginning of the implementation of the fourth stage of the “Strategy of four modernizations” (1978) – the “Go outside” policy focused on the growth of export potential and the full use of the resources of the world market for the development of the national economy. As part of the further development of this policy, in the fall of 2013, China came up with a geo-economic project – ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), with the declared goal “…to establish closer relations between the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa and to raise the mutually beneficial cooperation with these countries to a new historical height…” [1].

According to initial estimates, it was expected to involve about 40-65 developing countries along the ‘Belt and Road’ geographic area in the BRI orbit. However, more than 100 countries took part in the first ‘Belt and Road’ Forum (2017). In modern times (January 2021), within the framework of project interaction, China has concluded agreements with 140 countries and 31 international organizations. Among the modern participants are 27 countries of Europe, 38 countries of Asia, 11 countries of the North American and 8 countries of the South American regions, 45 countries of Africa and 11 countries of Oceania [2].

Maritime transport is the main connecting element of the BRI, along with the railways. Its use is carried out in the Concept of Maritime Cooperation in the Construction of the ‘Belt and Road’ (2018) along three Blue economic corridors, including routes:

– across the Indian and Atlantic oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea – to the shores of Africa and Europe;

– in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean – to the shores of Australia and Oceania;

– through the Northern Sea Route.

In these conditions, it is strategically important for China to have access to port infrastructure in various countries of the World, since the port, as such, is a key point for managing sea cargo flows. Let us consider the main modern results of China’s investments in the port infrastructure of the countries of the world.

The first and dominant strategic space for Chinese investment in port infrastructure is the South Sea Route, which runs through the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Atlantic waters.

At the first stage of this advancement, China carried out goods transportation through the ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg, making the first investments even before the start of the BRI project. In 2011, China acquired 100% of the Spanish ‘Barcelona Europe South Terminal’. In 2013, the Chinese company “China Merchants Port Holdings” acquired 49% of the shares of the operator of the commercial container terminal ‘Terminal Link’, which opened access to the management of individual terminals in the French ports of Le Havre, Dunkirk, Montoir (Saint-Nazaire) and Fos-sur-Mer (Marseille), in the Belgian ports of Antwerp and Bruges, and a terminal in Malta. And in 2015, Beijing became the owner of 50% of the Italian ‘Taranto Termina’” [3. pp. 163-164].

Since 2008, the Chinese company “COSCO Shipping” began buying shares in the Greek port of Piraeus and by the end of 2016 received a controlling stake. The port came under the full control of the PRC, investments in the modernization of the technical infrastructure and the development of the port personnel capacity amounted to about 500 million euros. This was one of the factors behind the growth of Piraeus cargo turnover from 433 thousand TEU in 2008 to 3.7 million TEU in 2016. In 2018, Piraeus became the second largest port in the Mediterranean after Valencia [4].

The geographical location of Piraeus endows it with the qualities of a port – a hub. Istanbul lays in 352 miles from it is, Constanta – 548 miles, Novorossiysk – 808 miles, Alexandria and Port Said – 593 miles, Ashdod (Israel) – 657 miles. In the western Mediterranean are Barcelona (1,156 miles from Piraeus), Koper (835 miles) and Genoa (972 miles), further via Gibraltar the route opens to London Temport (2,767 miles), Le Havre (2,637 miles) and Rotterdam (2,842 miles). To the north of Piraeus, the railway network is being reconstructed, financed by the “Export-Import Bank of China”. In the future high-speed routes to Central and Eastern Europe will be created – to Bratislava, Belgrade, Sofia and Kiev, connected with the continental railway corridor “China – Europe” [4].

To strengthen these logistics positions in the Mediterranean, China owns stakes in many ports, including Marseille, Genoa, Valencia, Istanbul, and others [6]. To ensure commodity supplies to Europe, Beijing acquired assets in the ports of North Africa. Thus, the Hong Kong “Hutchison Port Holdings” is a member of a joint venture that owns terminals in Alexandria and El-Dekheil in Egypt, “Cosco” owns 20% of the shares of the Suez Canal, participates in the joint venture “Suez Canal Container Terminal» in Port Said. “China Harbor Engineering Company” participated in the development of the port of Oran in Algeria and the terminals in Port Said [7].

At the same time, the business media reported on possible Chinese investments in the ports of the northern Adriatic – Italian Venice, Trieste and Ravenna, Slovenian Koper and Croatian Rijeka. These ports are integrated by railways into the ‘Mediterranean corridor’ linking Milan, Lyon, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Seville and Valencia, the ‘Baltic-Adriatic corridor’ – to Graz, Katowice, Warsaw, Gdansk, Kaunas and Riga, in the Black Sea direction – to Bucharest and Constanta, and the Central European direction – to Salzburg, Munich, etc.

Less investment activity was observed in the port infrastructure of the Baltic and Black Seas.

So, back in 2006, the Hong Kong operator “Hutchison Port Holdings”, which owns 52 terminals in 26 countries of the world (2015), became the owner (99.1%) of ‘Gdynia Container Terminal’ (2006) in Gdynia. In 2009, Beijing acquired 100% of the shares of ‘Con-tainer Terminal Frihamnen Norvik Port’ in Stockholm [3, p. 163]. In the fall of 2020, it was reported that the ports of Lithuania and Latvia were also included in the sphere of interests of Beijing [8].

During 2014-2016, on the premises of the Nikolaev commercial port (Ukraine), the leading Chinese grain trader “COFCO Group” built a terminal for the import of Ukrainian grain products[1] [9]. It was reported in 2017 that Chinese investors were interested in the assets of the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk (formerly the Ilyichevsk Commercial Sea Port) [10]. However, the following year, the legality of these investments was questioned [11] and no active actions in this direction have been identified by the present time. In 2016, China began the reconstruction of the Bulgarian port of Burgas (€ 20 million) [12]. In 2019, “China Machinery Engineering Corporation” (CMEC) began developing the infrastructure of the Bulgarian port of Varna, concluding a contract for 120 million euros [13].

We believe that the implementation of these projects poses a serious competitive threat to the Northern European ports – Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, etc., since the fastest container delivery from Shanghai to Piraeus takes 21 days, while from Shanghai to Hamburg – 31 days (COSCO Shipping, 2018) [5, pp. 10-12]. The use of Piraeus as a hub port and the capacities of the Mediterranean and Black Sea ports that gravitate towards it form the preconditions for the transformation of the structure of the existing freight traffic.

As a result, if by the end of the 2000s China controlled 1% of European container terminals, then in 2017 it controlled 6.5% and in 2018 – 10% of these capacities [14].

The countries of the African continent are gradually becoming the main recipients of Chinese investments. In the period from 2005 to 2020, the total volume of Chinese financial investments in the countries of the Black Continent amounted to about $ 370.3 billion [15], carried out by the “China Development Bank” with the mediation of the “Sino-African Development Fund”. Along with lending to the governments of African states, infrastructure projects are the main objects of investment. In total, , 5,756 km of railways, 4,335 km of roads, 34 thermal power plants, as well as 10 large and about one thousand small hydroelectric power plants were built by the end of 2016 [18].

In these conditions, Chinese investment in African ports aims both at ensuring its commodity supplies to Europe / Southern Mediterranean, as well as at supporting ongoing infrastructure projects in continental Africa.

For example, in Mauritania Chinese companies have reconstructed the deep-water Port de l’Amité, located in Nouakchott, built by China in 1980. It was also reported that in 2016, the Chinese company “Guangxi Crown Fisheries”, having created a joint venture, began the construction of the largest fish processing complex in Nouadhibou, as a base for fishing along the coast of this country. The fishery will be conducted by 20 Chinese vessels, the entire catch, projected at 1.46 million tons per year, will be delivered to China [17].

It is known that “China CAMC Engineering Company” received a contact to expand the port of Conakry in Guinea, of which China accounts for 55% of bauxite exports. Business media reported that in 2016, China began construction of a new deep-water container terminal with a shipyard and free trade zone in Cabinda, the northern province of Angola, with a total investment of $ 600 million [18]. In the same years, China reconstructed the port of Lobito, located in the south of Angola and connected with copper mines located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the 1300 km long railway, also reconstructed by China in 2019 (2.5 billion. euro.). [19] [20]

In 2021, China completed the construction of the port of Kiribi in Cameroon, with a loan provided by it. However, the government of Cameroon is unable to pay off its debts, and it is expected that Kiribi will be recovered by China to repay the loan [6].

[1] This slightly falls out of the topic, since the grain terminal is a specialized facility serving the import traffic to China.

Еnd of introductory fragment. You may find full texts and more on the web-site

Volume 10, No.2, 2020

(Download Issue’s introductory version (EN) in PDF)

Anna K. Voronenko

The article discusses the features of container traffic through the container terminals in the Far East of Russia, analyzes the factors that influenced the dynamics and structure of container traffic.

The article describes the features of container lines operating through the ports of Vladivostok and Nakhodka and the impact of these features on the market of transport and logistics services in the region.


Far East, Primorsky Territory, container transportation, seaports, shipping lines, seasonality.

Aleksandr R. Melnikov, Marina A. Melnikova, Elizaveta Yu. Baranova



The article analyzes the prospects for integrating the Russian Northern Sea Route into the global transit system for the delivery of consumer goods from Asia to Europe in the context of global competition of international transport corridors and geopolitical standoff of the great world powers in the Arctic Region.


international transport corridor; transit; container ships; ice escorting; icebreaker fleet; competition in the transportation market; geopolitical standoff; Russian territorial waters

Felix A. Shamrai



The Northern Sea Transit Corridor (NSTC) project was initiated in 2019 and is currently being implemented by “Rusatom-Cargo”, a subsidiary of “Rosatom” State Corporation. The project is aimed at attracting international transit sea cargo transportation along the Northern Sea Route waterways, as well as developing the appropriate infrastructure, including transport and logistics hubs and a commercial fleet. The article analyzes the prerequisites and conditions for the project to reach commercial profitability after the start of its full-scale operation in 2027. Based on complex modeling, specific options for organizing linear container transportation in the NSTC format are proposed, including the creation of a new global carrier operating nuclear-powered heavy-duty container ships.

Dmitrii S. Kopyev



The decrease in freight traffic has toughened the requirements for the speed and cost of delivery of goods. This led to the manifestation of the attention of transport operators to the use of the Trans-Siberian Railway for the delivery of goods from East Asia to Europe. But high rates on the sea ‘leg’ of the container delivery route reduce the attractiveness of this transport service. A well-grounded reduction in rates will attract additional freight traffic to the route.


Trans-Siberian railway, transportation costs, container delivery time, formation of transportation rates.

Mikhail V. Kholosha, Gotov Dugerjav, Sergei M. Smirnov



The regional international organization “Greater Tumen Initiative” (GTI) is actively involved in the problem of improving the efficiency of international transport in North-East Asia. Within the GTI, the concept of international transport corridors was adopted, which gave certain results but could not fundamentally solve the existing bottlenecks in regional logistics. According to the study carried out in 2020, experts from the GTI member countries and Japan proposed to move to a new, higher degree of integration – the creation of an integrated regional transport and logistics network. The Russian Far East has a particularly high development potential in this area. The article also discusses the issues of solving transport problems in Mongolia within the framework of the proposed “network” concept and in the format of bilateral cooperation with Russia.


Greater Tumen Initiative, transport corridors, border crossing point, logistics, Tavantolgoi, digitalization of logistics

Aleksandr V. Savelyev



The article is devoted to the study of hydro-chemical characteristics and the content of pollutants in the waters of the Amur Estuary for the period from 1971 to 2008, as well as to the study of granulometric structure and quality of the bottom sediments in the estuary.


Amur Estuary, hydrochemistry, pollutants, bottom sediments

Aleksandr A. Lentarev



This paper shows that international requirements for the qualifications and experience of persons engaged in the seafarers’ training, in the framework of the powers of the national maritime administration, are detailed either at the level of national legislation, or at the departmental (ministerial) level, or at the level of a separate training institutions. On the example of the examiner, options for the implementation of convention requirements are presented, a comparison of national requirements is made. It is shown that in some countries certain provisions of the convention requirements are not complied with, while in other countries requirements exceeding convention requirements are established.


seafarers’ training, STCW Convention, conventional requirements, instructor, examiner, supervisor, competency, qualification, experience

Aleksei Yu. Strelkov



COVID-19 pandemic resulted in shutdowns in education and training, disrupting the pre-scheduled classroom studies, face-to-face instruction, etc. Maritime English teachers and learners had to abruptly switch modes of teaching / learning which presented a great challenge for MET providers, cadets, University administration and IT personnel and caused psychological stresses. The paper is aimed at considering the challenges, the ways Maritime English teachers and learners responded as exemplified by the Admiral Nevelskoi Maritime State University. Experiences in online teaching / learning and estimation of these by language teachers have been covered. Successes and failures, as well as their reasons, have been considered. The assumption that it is the blended mode of teaching and learning Maritime English that will be predominant from now on has been made, thus necessitating maintenance of the acquired skills and abilities for distance learning and continuous working on these.


Maritime education and training (MET), Maritime English, communicative approach, offline, online, blended teaching and learning

Boris I. Tkachenko



The article studies Scarborough Shoal as one of the disputed areas in the South China Sea. Physical geography and historical background of Scarborough Shoal are considered. Scarborough Shoal is characterized as an object of international dispute between China, Taiwan and the Philippines. Modern positions of the PRC and the Philippines on the Scarborough Shoal jurisdiction and decision of the international tribunal in The Hague on the islands in the South China Sea are considered. The military aspect of the Scarborough Shoal is analyzed.


South China Sea, territorial disputes, Scarborough Shoal, People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, international law.

Volume 10, No.1, 2020

(Download Issue (EN) in PDF)

Mikhail A. Danchenkov



This is the first article of the three on this topic. It includes the following items: a) according to the data of the Maritime register of shipping of the USSR-Russia 1932-2005, the number of scientific vessels has been determined; b) the distribution of R/V by age, agencies, displacement and sea water areas (sea basins) has been given. Special attention was paid to research vessels of the 1960s. Based on this, the author comes to the conclusion that the capabilities of Russian research fleet to conduct necessary marine researches in the interests of the country have been lost forever.


R/V (research vessels), number of R/V, Marine Register of Shipping, the reliability of knowledge about the research vessels

Pavel B. Firsov



This paper provides a brief overview of the current state of study of non-periodic level variations in the synoptic (1 -20 days) scale of variability – storm surges on the coast of the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. Three research directions are being described:

– On the basis of statistical analysis of observational data, regime characteristics have been determined, and features of the development of extreme tide phenomenon (storm surges and ebb waves) on various parts of the coast have been studied;

– On the basis of physical-statistical and probability methods the influence of meteorological factors (wind, atmospheric pressure) on the changes of sea level has been evaluated, the possible ways of storm surges’ formation in different weather and geographical conditions have been studied;

– On the basis of numerical hydrodynamic models of “shallow water theory”, the evolution of sea level fluctuations in unstudied by observations coastal areas of the Far Eastern seas has been studied. Based on the calculations, diagrams of the dependence of storm surge heights on weather parameters in certain points of the coast of the Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea are formed.

In conclusion, it is noted that at present the problem of studying and forecasting storm surges on the coast of the Far Eastern seas is still far from perfect.The points of integrated approach to solve the problem are identified, which, with appropriate funding at both the Federal and regional levels, may be fulfilled as the requests and needs of economic organizations in the Far Eastern region are met.


storm surges, sea level, Sea of Japan, Bering Sea, synoptic conditions, cyclones, hydro-meteorological information

Valentin V. Sergienko

On April 6, 2020, a catastrophic accident took place in the Korean port Busan when 13900 TEU vessel “MILANO BRIDGE” (operated by ONE – Ocean Network Express, Japan) was approaching berth with the pilot abroad. The vessel’s sizes are 366.94 x 51,7 m.

How could it happen? Despite the fact that the equipment was serviceable, the weather was normal, but it happened.

To understand we can get acquainted with the report of the captain Nobuyuki YAMAOKA, Senior Vice President, on points when the important decisions in the process of vessel’s advancement were made.

As well, there is also an electronic map of the mooring area of the ship – Busan Newport, from the Ship Traffic Control Center. It shows how the ship was moving, at what speed and event points, where the pilot’s instructions for using the main engine and steering device were implemented.

Captain Nobuyuki YAMAOKA calls to the Maritime community to reduce the number of accidents to zero. Expert and author of the article presents his own commentary about how to avoid a trap of sea accidents – in other words, what to do, how to do and by what means to solve the problem.


container vessel, berth, stern area, operator, deck, propeller, pilot

Anastasia O. Barannikova



The present article considers the dynamics of activity of the main ports of the US West Coast – Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Due to their focus on China as a main trade partner these ports experienced disruptions caused both by pandemic and trade disputes between China and US. Despite growth demonstrated during the third quarter the uncertainty about future state of ports remains as the world is overcoming new wave of pandemic.


Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, pandemic, trade war, China

Aleksandr N. Gavrilov, Mikhail V. Kholosha



Arctic tourism today is one of the rapidly developing areas. Many Arctic (and not only) countries offer a variety of tourist programs to visit the territories and waters of the Arctic zone. Russia is also making efforts in this field, developing a system of natural reserves and offering various tourist routes. Meanwhile, there remains a large window of opportunity for the development of this type of activities.

Each part of the Russian Arctic zone, Western and Eastern areas, has its own set of tourist routes. In addition, the paper indicates the factors of the formation of demand for Arctic tourism, presents proposals for the duration and seasonality of tours, as well as for increasing the attractiveness of cruise transportation.


Arctic, tourism, cruise, natural reserve, route

Peter Yu.Samoylenko



The article considers the problems of creation (on the base of transport-logistics complex) of image promotion system for the goods produced in the Far East to the countries of Asia-Pacific. Firstly, there are analyzed the ways of image development for the Far Eastern goods and services in accordance with the so-called policy of “Eastern vector”. Secondly, there are described the prospects for image potential of new logistics ways and projects, such as the development of the Northern Sea Route, use of information possibilities for shipping companies, airports, land border crossings, transport container park of the Russian logistics operators etc.


Vladivostok, sea ports, policy of “Eastern vector”, images, marine transport and logistics, cooperation in Asia-Pacific, marine education, Arctic projects, airports, container services, brands, territory brands, Far Eastern goods and services

Daria S. Zadoya



According to ICC monitoring data, dumps are the main land-based sources of marine litter in the Russian Far East and particularly in Primorsky Territory. That is why waste management system is an important step toward the solution of sea pollution problem. The main points and first results of the waste management system reformation started in 2020 are examined in the article.


marine litter, waste management, ICC, coastal cleanup, ecological actions

Andrei A. Panasenko, Victor S. Danilov



The article focuses on the fact that the efficiency of the main ship diesel engine depends on the presence of prolonged non-stationary operating modes. Experimental data on the performance of the main power plant was modelled on the Engine Room Simulator at the Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University (MSUN).Transients for the engine-speed controller with various laws of regulation are shown.


disturbing influences, non-stationary modes, transient processes, quality of regulation, automatic control system, reliability of the diesel engine.

Volume 9, No.2, 2019

(Download Issue (EN) in PDF)

Ekaterina A. Bogatova, Elizaveta S. Sadukas, Sergei V. Pesterev



The article considers the state and problems in the organization of the educational process and practice of MSU(N) students. The authors substantiate the possibility of cooperation with one of the leaders in global shipping business, MAERSK Co. and the project of a new vessel designed together with shipping companies to conduct onboard training for cadets of Russian and foreign maritime universities.


onboard training, business cooperation, new ship, university rating, quality of cadets training.

Mikhail A. Danchenkov



The reliability of the main parameters of the Sea of Japan was studied. Based on a review of publications and information from the Global Bathymetric Database a conclusion for the need of special ship sounding surveys in several areas of the deep basin was drawn on.

All original values of the maximum depths of the sea are summarized in the table.


oceanography of the Sea of Japan; maximum depth of the Sea of Japan; the reliability of knowledge of the sea; the requirement for ship depth soundings in the Sea of Japan

Peter Yu. Samoylenko



Article deals with the problems of creation of international transport and logistic center in Asia-Pacific, provided that such center is established on the base of Vladivostok’s city and port capacities with the plans to promote development processes in regional economy, humanitarian and international cooperation spheres. Author analyses historical features of Vladivostok as major seaport on the Russian Pacific coast and prospects for its development according to modern Russian policy, which is known under the name “Turn to the East”. Besides, in the article there are analyzed possibilities of Arctic trade routes and international cooperation in shipping transportation across them.


Vladivostok, seaport, policy of “Eastern Vector”, image, sea transport, logistics, cooperation in Asia-Pacific, maritime education, Arctic projects

Roman V. Tarantul



In the context of development and intensification of the ties with North Korea its neighbors evaluate the potential benefit of such variant if international sanctions are lifted from the DPRK. However, for the successful development of trade and economic cooperation with this country, it is necessary to create a high-quality cross-border transport infrastructure that will ensure stable inter-state trade. The article compares the key infrastructure projects proposed by Russia, China and the Republic of Korea to DPRK, and assesses the prospects for their implementation under international sanctions.


North Korea, Russia, China, South Korea, sanctions, transport project, bridge, railway, checkpoint

Igor.P. Turishchev, Mikhail V. Gomzyakov, Oleg V. Moskalenko, Arkadiy L. Olovyannikov



The author considers the problems of application of information technologies for predicting operation of ship technical facilities on the base of algorithms of risk-oriented control and supervision activities. The developed software package lets to perform remote analysis of activities (without interaction with ship owner), therefore it becomes possible to reduce the supervisory burden on business and to conduct an objective assessment of enterprise’s risk status. There are presented the capabilities of the developed software package which lets to perform risk-oriented predictions and to schedule the inspections of shipping companies. An assessment of the applicability of the complex and its usefulness for supervisory activities in the field of maritime navigation safety has been made.


software package, supervisory activities in the maritime navigation safety, risk category, risk-oriented predictions

Boris N. Vorobjev



The article presents the requirements of the international organization IMO to marine diesel engines to limit harmful emissions into the atmosphere. The necessity of transition of marine diesel engines to low-sulfur fuels from January 2020 is shown. The zones and dates of restrictions on emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides into the atmosphere are presented. As well, there are presented ways for reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere from vessel diesels.


harmful emissions, marine diesels, nitrogen oxides, sulfur content in fuel, emission standards, emission restriction areas, scrubbers, low-sulfur fuel, dual-fuel diesels

Anna K. Voronenko

Article considers the current situation of the coal logistics in the Russian Far East. It describes the usage process of coal terminals and their development, reviews specific features related to the operation of environmental measures.


сoal logistics, Russian Far East, seaports, transport tariff, coal export, coal terminal, stevedoring company, environment protection

Sergei A.Ogai, Mikhail V. Voiloshnikov



The paper covers optimization of design characteristics of multi-purpose (multifunctional) vessels, one of the functions of which is ice breaking capability. The model takes into account the mission of ships and economic indicators of constructing / operating costs. The objective function used to find the optimal characteristics of a multipurpose ice going vessel has been created. The effect indicator as part of the criterion for optimizing the characteristics of a multipurpose ice going vessel serves as an assessment of the vessel capacity for servicing other ships in ice conditions, as well as its own transportation or other operations in ice environment.


multipurpose (multifunctional) vessels of ice navigation, optimality criteria, utility function, design characteristics of the vessel, the initial stage of design.