Putin warns Washington provocative rhetoric could spark ‘large-scale conflict’ with North Korea

'Provocations, pressure, and offensive rhetoric is the road to nowhere,' Russian president warns

Washington not Pyongyang should take the initiative on constructive talks, Mr Putin urged
Washington not Pyongyang should take the initiative on constructive talks, Mr Putin urged

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the Trump administration the continuing hostility between the US and North Korea was close to deteriorating into a “large-scale conflict” and said the only way to de-escalate tensions was through talks.

Mr Putin, whose country shares a border with North Korea, also said that it would be a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang into halting its nuclear missile program.

“It is essential to resolve the region’s problems through direct dialogue involving all sides without advancing any preconditions (for such talks),” the Russian president wrote on the Kremlin’s website.

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

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, echoed Mr Putin, saying Washington not Pyongyang should take the initiative on constructive talks to reduce tensions between the countries.

Mr Putin, whose nuclear-capable bombers recently flew over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force, said the situation had deteriorated so badly that it was now “balanced on the verge of a large-scale conflict”, Reuters reported.

“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,” Mr Putin wrote.

The Russian President’s warning comes after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile that flew directly over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

North Korea release launch footage of missile that flew over Japan

The missile hurtled toward Japan as the United States and South Korea were conducting joint military exercises that North Korea has consistently denounced as an act of aggression.

Pyongyang has also threatened to surround the US territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean with a “ring of fire”, by launching four missiles aimed at hitting the sea around the tiny island that is home to US military bases.

North Korea's estimated missile ranges

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called the country’s latest missile test over “a meaningful prelude to containing Guam” and said his country should conduct more missile tests into the Pacific Ocean.

In response to the provocation US President Donald Trump said the US had been "talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years! Talking is not the answer!”

Additional reporting by Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in