Abe's failure to convince Putin on North Korea disappointing

Marsha Scott
September 11, 2017

"One should not give in to emotions and drive North Korea into a corner", said Putin after a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Eastern Economic Forum.

Putin also condemned North Korea's latest nuclear tests but said he doubted that more sanctions would deter the hermit state from carrying out more tests. Putin later criticized North Korea in a joint press statement, saying, "Pyongyang is creating a serious threat to peace and security in the entire region".

"The two leaders agreed that sanctions and pressure must be strengthened as much as possible, and to cooperate in facilitating (the adoption of) tougher UN Security Council sanctions including cutting crude oil supply", Seoul's chief presidential press officer Yoon Young-chan said.

The Russian president also said his government reserves the right to cut further the number of American diplomatic staff in Moscow, in response to what he described as Washington's "boorish" treatment of Russia's diplomatic staff in the United States.

Moon may well be quietly admiring of Putin for saying things upfront about North Korea which he is unable to do himself.

South Korea says it expects another North Korea intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch "on September 9", according to the country's Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon.

The proposed measures, which are set to be discussed on Monday, also include a ban on the country exporting textiles and the hiring of North Korean workers overseas.

Speaking after the talks with the visiting South Korean president, Putin in televised remarks urged North Korea's neighbors to support the Russian-Chinese roadmap.

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The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) said it had been conducting tests on land, air and water samples since shortly after the North Korean nuclear test on Sunday.

But Putin said more sanctions are not an answer and would only cause hardship for the North Korean people. In fact, Russian Federation believes it is not North Korea that threatens its security, but the United States' growing military might in Northeast Asia. Now, the North's technological progress is adding to insecurities compounded by President Donald Trump's sometimes lukewarm support for defending US allies under his "America First" agenda. After U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said North Korea is "begging for war" with its ongoing tests, North Korea's state-run news agency called her a "prostitute" who is "crazily swishing her skirt" and that the U.S. would "pay a dear price for her tongue-lashing".

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also reiterated Beijing's opposition to South Korea's deployment of the US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence System, also known as THAAD, which is meant to protect against North Korean missile attacks.

Two THAAD batteries have already been installed.

The United States wants the UN Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean labourers overseas, and to subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The White House on Wednesday released details of calls Tuesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

"We estimate this was far bigger than previous nuclear tests", Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

South Korean officials said they were watching for radioactive fallout from the test and for signs of preparations for more activity.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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