Russia is quietly providing some economic support to North Korea for creating the obstruction of any US led push for ousting Kim Jong Un. The main reason behind this is that Russia fears the fall of Kim Jong Un would result in the weakening of its regional clout which would allow troops of the United States to be deployed on the eastern border of Russia. But at the same time Russia is trying to improve its relationship with the United States in the increasingly slimming hope of relief from Western sanctions over Ukraine. This remains strongly opposed to what it sees as the meddling of Washington in the affairs of other countries. Russia is already very angry about the building up of NATO forces led by the United States on its western borders in Europe and it does not want any on its Asian flank.
Russia has an interest of protecting North Korea which all began as a Soviet Union satellite state but still Russia is not giving a free pass to North Korea rather it is backing the tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea over the nuclear tests that it conducted in the previous month. In this situation, Russia is actually playing a double - sided game by backing the United Nations and at the same time very quietly offering help to North Korea for insulating it from the efforts led by the United States to isolate North Korea economically. A company of Russia had started routing internet traffic from North Korea in this month which is giving the country a second connection with the outside world besides China. The bilateral trade doubled around 31.4 million dollars in the first quarter of the year 2017. This is mainly due to what Russia said about higher exports of oil products.
Reports reveal that at least eight ships from North Korea that have left for Russia with fuel cargo in this year have returned back to North Korea in spite of declaring other destinations officially. Officials of the United States say that a ploy is often used to undermine the sanctions against North Korea. Russia also shares a short land border with North Korea that has resulted in resisting the efforts led by the United States to send back tens of thousands of North Korean workers whose remittances help to keep the hard line leadership of the country afloat.