Russian President Vladimir Putin has held crucial talks with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in amid rising tensions in the Korean peninsula. Putin had insisted that denuclearisation of North Korea should be a top priority but differed on the actual methods to be employed in achieving the goal.
Pyongyang conducted a nuclear detonation, the country's sixth and most powerful test yet, on Sunday, 3 September with global powers rushing to put more pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime. While the UN Security Council is struggling to tighten the screws on Pyongyang, the western world is facing tough resistance from Russia and China.
"Russia cannot accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. The North's nuclear provocations have violated UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions," Putin told reporters at the press conference with Moon.
"It is clear that it is impossible to solve the Korean Peninsula's problems by only sanctions and pressure. We should not succumb to emotions and drive North Korea into a corner," said the Russian leader. "We call on all parties concerned to carefully look at this initiative that, in our view, offers a real way of decreasing tensions and step-by-step settlement."
Putin said Russia and China have outlined a roadmap, which could gradually ease tension in the Korean peninsula and urged other major powers to cooperate in solving the problem.
On his part, Moon told Putin that if the North is left unchecked, the crisis could snowball further and easily become unpredictable.
He told Putin: "I want to recall that the situation on the Korean peninsula and in the Northeast Asia, in general, is complicated by the long-standing provocations of North Korea. If North Korea does not stop its provocations, then we can face an unpredictable situation."
"We also shared the view that nuclear arms and missiles sought by the North are leading down the wrong path, and that it was urgently needed to ease tensions," said the South Korean leader, who has been emphasising on holding a dialogue with the North since he took charge.