Situation on Korean Peninsula on Brink of Large-Scale Conflict - Putin
"I have to say a few words about the situation on the Korean Peninsula, where tensions have grown recently and the situation is balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict. Russia believes that the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile programme is misguided and futile," Putin said in an article published by leading media of BRICS states on the threshold of the BRICS summit that will be held in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen on September 3-5.
"The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. Provocations, pressure and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road," Putin said.
He added that Russia and China had created a "roadmap for a settlement on the Korean Peninsula that is designed to promote the gradual easing of tensions and the creation of a mechanism for lasting peace and security."
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated in recent months due to Pyongyang's missile launches and nuclear tests, all conducted in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. On August 5, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the Resolution 2371, which further tightens sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang's ballistic missiles tests conducted in late July.
In mid-August, the tests caused a harsh reaction of US President Donald Trump, who threatened to unleash "fire and fury" against North Korea if it endangered the United States. After Trump’s statement, North Korean media reported that the country’s leadership was considering a missile strike on a US military base located on the island of Guam.
The most recent test was conducted on Tuesday when North Korea launched a missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the Pacific Ocean 1,180 kilometers (733 miles) east of the island of Hokkaido.
In June, Russia and China put forward a road map for the settlement of the North Korean crisis, the so-called double freeze plan, which provides for the simultaneous cessation of both North Korea's nuclear activity and the US-South Korean military exercises. The initiative has been supported by Germany but rejected by the United States. North Korea has not responded to the proposal.