Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said that imposing new sanctions on North Korea was not the answer to the country’s nuclear and ballistic development, speaking at a summit of BRICS nations in Xiamen, China.
Drawing a parallel between U.S. interventions against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi and the current North Korean situation, Putin suggested that Pyongyang would abandon its nuclear weapons if the safety of the regime were guaranteed.
“They’ll eat grass, but they won’t abandon their program unless they feel secure,” Russian state news agency TASS reported the Russian President as having said.
“The use of sanctions in this situation is useless and inefficient.”
Putin said Saddam Hussein and his family “were killed during the well-known military operation” even though he had “abandoned the production of weapons of mass destruction.”
“Everybody remembers what happened to Saddam Hussein,” he said. “The country [Iraq] lies in ruins, Saddam Hussein was hanged. Listen, it is a thing that everybody knows and remembers. North Korea knows and remembers it, too.”
“Do you think some sanctions will make North Korea change its plans to create weapons of mass destruction?”
Washington’s calls for additional sanctions at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) were, Putin said, difficult to support amid unilateral U.S. sanctions against Russian and Chinese individuals and companies.
“It’s ridiculous to put us on the same list as North Korea and then ask for our help in imposing sanctions against North Korea,” said Putin. “This is being done by people who mix up Australia with Austria.”
Putin also said sanctions will not change the North Korean regime but would increase the suffering of regular North Koreans.
The Russian President’s remarks came after a statement by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at an emergency meeting of the UNSC on Monday saying that the U.S. will seek to introduce a new resolution against North Korea.
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday, in a move that sparked international condemnation.
Amid statements from U.S. officials warning of a “massive military response” if North Korea continued to threaten the United States, the Russian President reiterated that North Korean issues should be resolved in a peaceful way.
“Building up military hysteria will lead to nothing good. All of this could lead to a global planetary catastrophe and a great number of victims,” he told reporters. “There’s no other way apart from a peaceful diplomatic way to solve the North Korean nuclear issue.”
Putin warned on Thursday that the U.S. and other like-minded nations which pursued pressure policies against North Korea would not succeed and that the current situation could only be resolved through dialogue without preconditions.
“The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions,” Putin said in an article released by the Kremlin. “Provocations, pressure and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Putin held a 20-conversation over the phone at 2330 KST on Monday to discuss “countermeasures” to the North’s sixth nuclear test, the South Korean presidential office said.
Blue House said that Moon had emphasized to Putin that “it is time for the UN Security Council to seriously consider ways to fundamentally block North Korea’s source of income of foreign currency such as suspending supply of crude oils to North Korea and banning imports of overseas workers.”
Moon will visit Vladivostok from September 6 to 7 to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, and that the two will reportedly hold a “bilateral and expanded summit” on the first day of the summit.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Kremlin.ru
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