Putin Warns Against 'Driving North Korea Into Corner' Over Nuclear Tests

Mark Pritchard MP

Abe told reporters he wants to discuss the North Korea situation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korean President Moon Jae In separately when they meet this week in Vladivostok.

Moon had urged Moscow to support stronger sanctions against North Korea, which conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday September 3, in what it claimed was a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon built for missiles capable of reaching the USA mainland.

The test violated a United Nations ban on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.

Putin more directly criticized US diplomatic policy when he said it was drafted by people who confuse Australia with Austria, in reference to a famous slip of the tongue by former US President George W. Bush.

"The American nation, America is truly a great country and a great people if they can tolerate such a big number of people with such a low level of political culture", Putin said.

"This may end up in a global catastrophe and huge amount of human life lost", Putin told reporters during a visit to China.

A Seongju police official says police have dispersed most of the protesters and the USA military will be able to move four launchers and construction equipment into the site soon.

"Novak; 40,000 a quarter is zero", said Putin.

Video: How advanced are N Korea's nuclear weapons? "Probably such is the level of political culture of a certain part of the US establishment".

Amid fears that the North Korean regime was planning a ballistic missile test similar to that conducted on July 4, the USA escalated its rhetoric and called upon the UN Security Council to completely isolate the so-called hermit kingdom from the outside world, including the severance of its fuel-trade channel with China.

Amid escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday asked his Russian counterpart's cooperation in urging the global community cut off crude oil supplies to the North Korean regime.

New sanctions could also seek to curb tourism to the country.

South Korea's defence ministry said it was already strengthening its defences, in part by deploying more US-made Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile launchers.

"China will never allow chaos and war on the (Korean) peninsula", he asserted.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "not to give in to emotions and show restraint" when dealing with North Korea.

Last month, the regime's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the USA would be "catapulted into an unimaginable sea of fire" if it imposed more sanctions or threatened military action.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said that in the event that sanctions on North Korea were ramped up, his country would be relatively unaffected as Russia "only supply oil products there (and) the volumes are negligible, close to zero".

"When a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon and an ICBM pointed at you, you do not take steps to lower your guard".

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