Putin warns against ‘large-scale conflict’ in North Korea

Russian President Putin Reuters
Russian President Putin Reuters

Russian President says it’s a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear missile program.
By Ben Ariel – Arutz Sheva
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the standoff between North Korea and the United States was on the verge of a large-scale conflict, saying it was a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear missile program.

Putin, who is due to attend a summit of the BRICS nations in China next week, wrote in an article published on the Kremlin’s website ahead of his trip that he favored negotiations with North Korea instead.

“It is essential to resolve the region’s problems through direct dialogue involving all sides without advancing any preconditions (for such talks),” Putin wrote in the article, which was quoted by Reuters.

“Provocations, pressure, and bellicose and offensive rhetoric is the road to nowhere,” he added.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula had deteriorated so much that it was now “balanced on the verge of a large-scale conflict,” warned the Russian leader.

Earlier this week, North Korea launched a ballistic missile which flew over Japan broke into three pieces and fell into the waters off Japan’s Hokkaido. No injuries or damage were reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump later said “all options are on the table” following the missile launch.

On Tuesday night, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasted that the missile launch was just the first step of a military operation that would include Guam.

In his article, Putin wrote, “In Russia’s opinion the calculation that it is possible to halt North Korea’s nuclear missile programs exclusively by putting pressure on Pyongyang is erroneous and futile.”

A road map formulated by Moscow and Beijing, which would involve North Korea stopping work on its missile program in exchange for the United States and South Korea halting large-scale war games, was a way to gradually reduce tensions, he opined.

His comments are in line with a warning issued this week by his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who urged the United States to refrain from any military actions on the Korean peninsula that would be “fraught with unpredictable consequences.”

Lavrov’s call was made in a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Despite Trump’s assertion that all options are on the table regarding North Korea, his Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said several days ago that there was still room for diplomacy in dealing with North Korea’s provocative ballistic missile launches.

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