Vladimir Putin warns of ‘major conflict’ over North Korea

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The tension in the Korean Peninsula is taking an international form with the Russian President Vladimir Putin warning last Friday that a “major conflict” is looming on the Korean Peninsula.

The Russian president called on all interested parties to talk it out and alleviate the crisis after Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan this week. Putin said that direct dialogue between all concerned parties is the only way to solve the problem in the region and that threats, pressure and insulting and militant rhetoric are a dead end.

He said that putting additional pressure on North Korea in a bid to curb its nuclear programme was “wrong and futile.”

Tension levels in the Korean Peninsula have increased substantially over the years and are said to be at their highest in years because of a series of missile tests by Pyongyang.

Early on Tuesday, the reclusive state fired an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 over Japan, prompting US President Donald Trump to insist that “all options” were on the table in an implied threat of pre-emptive military action.

The UN Security Council denounced North Korea’s latest missile test, unanimously demanding that Pyongyang halt the programme. US heavy bombers and stealth jet fighters took part in a joint live fire drill in South Korea on Thursday, intended as a show of force against the North, Seoul said.

Putin said he feared the peninsula was “on the verge of a major conflict” and called for all sides to sign up to a mediation programme drawn up by Moscow and Beijing.

He echoed comments by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who in a Wednesday telephone call with US counterpart Rex Tillerson “underscored the need to refrain from any military steps that could have unpredictable consequences.”

The Russia-China plan involves a mutual pause in missile tests by North Korea and joint South Korean-US military exercises by Seoul.

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