Putin warns of 'global catastrophe' over North Korea impasse

Posted September 11, 2017

All planned deployment of the USA missile defense system THAAD to South Korea is complete, 14 months after the United States and South Korea publicly announced the decision in July 2016.

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday, detonating a device that it claimed was a hydrogen bomb created to be carried by a long-range missile capable of reaching mainland United States.

Resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis is impossible with sanctions and pressure alone, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after meeting his South Korean counterpart on Wednesday (Sept 6), again urging dialogue to achieve progress.

Speaking at an economic summit in Vladivostok on Wednesday, just a few hundred kilometres from the border, Putin suggested the current US strategy is doomed to fail.

Putin says he believes President Donald Trump's administration is willing to defuse tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Putin called on all North Korea's neighbors to show restraint, indicating the bellicose rhetoric and the military drills are only "playing into their hands".

Meanwhile the European Union said it is preparing to boost its own sanctions against North Korea, as part of worldwide efforts to punish the rogue state.

"The implementation of these initiatives will be not only economically beneficial, but will also help build up trust and stability on the Korean Peninsula", Putin said at a press conference quoted on the Kremlin's website.

An unannounced missile heading toward the USA mainland from North Korea could cause a nuclear retaliation, so Pyongyang would most likely try to aim the missile elsewhere.

Beijing said on Wednesday it opposed South Korea's deployment of the THAAD system.

The report follows a similar one from South Korean intelligence published this week in the nation's Asia Business Daily, which cited an unnamed intelligence official claiming there was evidence that Pyongyang was planning yet another ICBM test. "It [the initiative of the trilateral talks] could make it possible to stabilize the Korean peninsula, it also could give North Korea resources to develop its economic system and maybe even make its economic system more open", Georgy Toloraya, a former Russian diplomat and the director of the Center for Asian Strategy at the Institute of Economics under the Russian Academy of Sciences told Sputnik.

North Korea says it needs to develop its weapons to defend itself against what it sees as USA aggression.

These remarks were contained in a document titled "The President's Position on the THAAD Deployment", which Moon released at 8:50 pm on September 8, after concluding his visit to Russian Federation and returning to South Korea on the evening of September 7. Ten vehicles from the USA military carrying the launchers and construction materials entered the base at 8:20 a.m.

A THAAD battery normally consists of six launchers that can fire up to 48 interceptor missiles, but only two launchers have been operational at the site.

Seoul's defense ministry nonetheless confirmed Thursday that it had approved the installation of four more THAAD launchers, according to South Korea's Joongang Daily. In the position statement, Moon emphasized the inevitability of the THAAD deployment, which he had concluded was "the best course of action available to the South Korean government in the current situation".

Shortly after he took office, Moon halted the deployment and ordered an environmental survey to boost the legitimacy of the process. He said he saw no difference with the USA on the principle that the North Korean nuclear issue should be resolved through talks.