During the time of the Cold War, a particularly close friendship existed between the Soviet Union and South Korea. The dispute between China and the Soviet Union caused the Soviet Union to shift its focus more towards South Korea than North Korea. However, because of US protectionism, their relationship was conducted through third parties such as Hong Kong.In 1948, the Soviet Union was one of the earliest countries to provide recognition to the newly established Republic of Korea. In December of that year, the two nations officially established diplomatic relations with one another. During the Korean War (1950–1953), the Soviet Union assisted and advised South Korea militarily. This support was provided by the Soviet Union.During the height of the Cold War, South Korea’s most important commercial partner was the Soviet Union. Additionally, the Soviet Union offered South Korea both economic and technological assistance during this time. As part of the trade agreement, South Korea shipped raw resources to the Soviet Union.In the late 1980s, as a result of the reforms that were taking place in the Soviet Union at the time, known collectively as perestroika, the strong relationship that had existed between the Soviet Union and South Korea began to break down. The Soviet Union began to reduce the amount of financial assistance it provided to South Korea, which resulted in a decrease in the amount of trade that took place between the two nations.As a result of the fact that North Korea was a communist country, the Soviet Union began to establish tighter ties with that country as well. In 1991, diplomatic relations were first established between the Soviet Union and North Korea.The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 contributed to a further deterioration of the connection that existed between South Korea and the Soviet Union. Despite this, the two nations have been able to keep their diplomatic relations intact and are cooperating in their efforts to advance peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.