Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that only dialogue without pre-conditions could resolve the North Morea crisis and urged the U.S. and others to avoid going down a “dead-end road” with North Korea.
“Russia believes that the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile,” Putin said in an article published overnight by the Kremlin, ahead of the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China.
“The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. Provocations, pressure and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road,” he added.
The ongoing geopolitical dispute is “balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict”, Putin warned as he weighed the situation prompted by the flurry of missile tests in recent weeks conducted by North Korea amid escalating international unease.
In a move which Japanese Prime Minister Sinhzo Abe described as an “unprecedented” threat to his country, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday last week. Suggesting that it was an act of “contempt”, U.S. President Donald Trump also criticized the missile launch.
The missile flew over Hokkaido Island before crashing into the sea and it was fired early on last Tuesday local time. The U.S. and South Korea are currently carrying out joint military exercise and the test fire of the missile appeared to have been conducted in response to that ongoing joint military exercise.
The firing of the intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan by North Korea was condemned as “outrageous’ by the United Nations. However, the UN stopped short of threatening new sanctions on Pyongyang while the 15-member Security Council urged the country to discontinue its nuclear program.
Both Russia and China were opposed to unilateral sanctions on North Korea, said Russia’s and China’s ambassadors to the UN. Calls for the U.S. and South Korea to terminate their so-called war games was instead repeated by Moscow and Beijing
News agency Reuters reported that a test of a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon is typically only viewed as a trigger for further possible sanctions by veto-wielding council members China and Russia, diplomats said.
Ever since a war of words broke out between Trump and the North Korean government last month, there has been an acceleration in the tensions concerning Pyongyang’s nuclear missile program.
Fresh sanctions on entities and organizations that support North Korea, including those in China and Russia were imposed by the U.S. and Japan last week.
(Adapted from CNBC)