Putin Warns North Korea Situation Is on the Verge of a ‘Large-Scale Conflict’

September 1, 2017 Updated: September 1, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the tense standoff between North Korea and the United States was on the verge of large-scale conflict and said it was a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear missile programme.

Putin, who is due to attend a summit of the BRICS nations in China next week, wrote in an article published on the Kremlin’s web site ahead of his trip that he favoured negotiations with North Korea instead.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un (left), standing next to intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) Hwasong-12 prior to launch (screenshot)
North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un (left), standing next to intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) Hwasong-12 prior to launch (screenshot)

The test fire of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea in an undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on May 30.  (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
The test fire of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea in an undated photo released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on May 30.
(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

“It is essential to resolve the region’s problems through direct dialogue involving all sides without advancing any preconditions (for such talks),” Putin wrote.

“Provocations, pressure, and bellicose and offensive rhetoric is the road to nowhere.”

The situation on the Korean Peninsula had deteriorated so much that it was now “balanced on the verge of a large-scale conflict,” said the Russian leader.

In this handout photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, U.S. Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) firing a missile into the East Sea during a South Korea-U.S. joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea¡¯s ICBM test on July 29, 2017 in East Coast, South Korea.  (Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)
(Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)

Republic of Korea F-15K fighters drop munitions over Pilsung Range  (US Pacific Command)
Republic of Korea F-15K fighters drop munitions over Pilsung Range (US Pacific Command)

North Korea has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States and has recently threatened to land missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

On Monday, Pyongyang, which sees joint war games between the United States and South Korea as preparations for invasion, raised the stakes in its stand-off with the United States and its allies by firing an intermediate-range missile over Japan.

“In Russia’s opinion the calculation that it is possible to halt North Korea’s nuclear missile programmes exclusively by putting pressure on Pyongyang is erroneous and futile,” Putin wrote.