Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that the U.S. and other like minded nations that pressure policies against North Korea won’t work and that the current situation can only be resolved through unconditional dialogue.
Putin’s statement, which comes after the U.S. and South Korea conducted a mock bombing run along the peninsula in response to North Korea’s Tuesday missile test, suggests future Russian support for more sanctions at the United Nations may not be forthcoming.
“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 released by the Kremlin.
“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,” Putin said.
The comments echo recent Chinese foreign ministry remarks about the need for the U.S. and North Korea to commence negotiations soon, a factor regularly included in United Nations Security Council Resolutions against the country.
“Russia and China have created a roadmap for a settlement on the Korean Peninsula that is designed to promote the gradual easing of tensions and the creation of a mechanism for lasting peace and security,” Putin also said.
Notably, that plan rules out threats or usage of force and instead calls for a comprehensive political and diplomatic approach to resolving all problems related to the peninsula.
One long-time North Korea observer described Putin’s comments as being sound advice for Washington.
“Putin is right in saying the pressure will bring no result in reining in North Korea,” said Dr. Leonid Petrov, Visiting Fellow, School of Culture, History and Language ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.
“An open dialogue without preconditions would bring the moment of truth to the security dilemma which beset all regional countries,” he said.
“Moreover, Trump should understand that that by antagonizing Russia and China he is creating a new anti-American coalition for which the value of North Korea and its nuclear and missile programs will continue to increase.”
Shawn Ho, a North Korea researcher based at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), said Putin was effectively rejecting Trump’s strategy of putting more pressure on the North.
“To deal with the North Korea problem, Russia is of the view that the best solution is the approach offered by Russia and China,” said Ho.
“Russia is supporting an immediate resumption of Six Party Talks led by China (without any pre-conditions),” he continued. “This is also to show Russia-China solidarity given the upcoming BRICS Summit held in China.”
Meanwhile, South Korea’s presidential office said on Friday that President Moon Jae-in will visit Vladivostok from September 6 to 7 to attend the Eastern Economic Forum, and that he would hold a “ bilateral and expanded summit” with Putin there on September 6.
A senior Seoul official on Friday once again re-iterated South Korean hopes for Pyongyang to return to talks about denuclearization, something most independent observers believe is impossible at this stage.
“We urge North Korea to stop making rhetorical criticisms and threats and to come out to the path of dialogue and cooperation,” Lee Eugene, South Korean Unification Ministry deputy spokesperson said.
Main picture: Kremlin
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