Vladimir Putin Calls for Talks With North Korea, Not Sanctions

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Putin spoke after meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Vladivostok, Russia, on the sidelines of a conference on economic development of Russia's Far East.

Mr Moon had called for Moscow to support stronger sanctions against Pyongyang, which conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday in what it claimed was a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon built for intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the USA mainland.

"Regarding the North's nuclear test and missile launches, the leaders of the two countries noted it was time to increase pressure on the North rather than engage the country in dialogue under the current conditions where the global community's condemnation and pressure against the North continue to intensify", Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan said earlier.

Putin met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday and plans to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday.

"It is important to make sure the conditions surrounding the Korean Peninsula will not further deteriorate to enter an uncontrollable state", Moon was quoted as saying.

North Korea says it needs to develop its weapons to defend itself against what it sees as USA aggression.

Concerns are also mounting that North Korea is ready to carry out another nuclear test and may test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile again around key anniversaries including Saturday, the anniversary of North Korea's founding.

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Anything else that serves to fan the flames of war hysteria will lead to a "global catastrophe and a huge number" of human casualties.

The clashes came as South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe met in eastern Russian Federation and repeated their calls for stronger punishment of North Korea over its nuclear ambitions, including denying the country oil supplies.

Putin said Tuesday that Moscow could force the United States to remove an additional 155 personnel from facilities across the country, CNN reported. It was unclear when such a launch might happen, but September 9 is the anniversary of North Korea's founding and past launches have coincided with important national dates.

"It's impossible to scare them", he said.

Sunday's nuclear detonation builds on recent North Korean advances that include test launches in July of two ICBMs, which, when perfected, could target the US mainland.

Other measures could include preventing North Koreans from working overseas and putting top officials on a blacklist aimed at imposing asset freezes and travel bans. The Yonhap News Agency cited South Korea's spy agency as saying there is a chance Pyongyang could fire an ICBM into the Pacific Ocean.

Putin's comments appeared to draw the lines for a clash at the United Nations pitting Moscow and Beijing against Washington and its allies. That calculation has held even while China's interests have diverged from those of North Korea. "China has not just influence but has numerous levers that are needed to change behaviour in North Korea", Fallon told BBC radio.

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