WWIII: Russia Working To Strengthen North Korean Power Grid In Exchange For 'Rare Earth Metals'

Tara West

Two troubled nations with a disdain for the United States have become partners in a plan to give strength to one nation's infrastructure while supplying the other with the resources needed to potentially increase chemical-weapons programs. Russia has pushed ahead with a project aimed at repairing North Korea's failing power grid system. In exchange, North Korea is offering Russia access to "rare earth metals" that could be used to boost chemical-weapons capabilities.

According to ChoSun Media, Russia and North Korea have been boosting economic relations as of late and have finally decided on a plan to repair and improve North Korea's "notoriously paltry power grid and build a transmission network."

"The North and Russia are discussing a plan whereby Russia will get rare earth metals from the North in exchange for assistance in improving the dilapidated power grid."

So what are these "rare earth metals" that North Korea will be providing war-stricken Russia with in exchange for their help with the power grid? ChoSun Media reports, "Russia apparently hopes to use the steel and copper stockpiles to modernize the North's railway lines and power grid." However, NKNEWS notes that there are other reserves Russia has an eye on in North Korea.

"The Russian company [Basic Element owned by Russian billionaire and aluminum mogul] will also assess data concerning DPRK copper and anthracite reserves, with a view to sending a team of specialists in 2014."
"[North Korean defense expert Joseph Bermudez] points specifically to the construction of an anthracite coal gasification facility as being likely to benefit North Korea's chemical-weapons program. Anthracite coal -- of which North Korea has significant deposits -- is an ingredient used to make carbide. That substance, in turn, is needed in the production of mustard agent, according to a 2003 analysis by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Anthracite gasification is also used to produce fertilizer."
"The US-imposed sanctions are part of Washington's larger strategic geopolitical plan called "the weaponization of finance," which Ian Bremmer defined as the "system use of carrots (access to capital markets) and sticks (varied types of sanctions) as tools of coercive diplomacy."

Now the question remains, are the countries teaming up to make a stand against the West or are the countries simply trying to make ends meet by utilizing the only means of finances available to them with strict sanctions in place?

[Image Credit: Aljazeera]