Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an ominous warning to the United States on Tuesday, saying that ramping up tensions with North Korea may blow up into a “global catastrophe.”
Putin suggested that the use of economic sanctions will have little effect on communist dictator Kim Jung Un, who has proven to be hell-bent on developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the United States.
Kim “would rather eat grass” than abandon the nuclear program, which Putin feels North Korea will keep pushing for “as long as they do not feel safe.”
“In this situation, pressing on military hysteria will not bring anything. This may end up in a global catastrophe and a huge amount of human life lost,” Putin said during a visit to China.
Putin’s remarks come two days after Kim tested what may have been a hydrogen bomb, also known as a thermonuclear weapon. A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than the nuclear bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
South Korea’s Asia Business Daily, citing an unidentified source, reported that North Korea had been observed on Tuesday moving a rocket that appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards its west coast.
South Korea responded to the hydrogen bomb test with a live fire exercise, firing missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on North Korea’s nuclear test site.
President Donald Trump announced in a Twitter message that he has given the go-ahead to South Korea and Japan to purchase a “substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States.”
Trump said earlier that the United States is considering cutting off all trade with nations that do business with North Korea. The reclusive communist regime trades with more than 100 nations, according to NBC, but 90 percent of that trade is with China.
China also warned North Korea against launching another missile and worsening tensions.
Putin said that Russian oil supplies to North Korea were negligible, responding to heightened international scrutiny of the ties between Moscow and the Kim regime.
Russia says it is strictly implementing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, but in its public pronouncements, it has taken a more dovish approach than most Western countries.
Reuters contributed to this report.