Putin once again urged not to fan military hysteria around the North Korean nuclear tests. He also underlined that Moscow advocates settling the conflict through negotiations like in 2005, as the next step after the sanctions would be an "invitation to the graveyard."
The Russian President pointed out that Moscow sees current US administration's desire to defuse tensions around Pyongyang, but he expressed hope that common sense would prevail in the US approach to the DPRK issue.
"I know, if you asked me that, that there are a lot of reasonable people in the current administration of the United States who understand that we need to move carefully. Even at the secondary level and at the State Department, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency there are professional people who have repeatedly faced this [North Korea’s] problem and been dealing with it for years," the Russian leader said at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).
"I very much hope that common sense will prevail and that we will be working together, cooperatively, to move in the direction of resolving the issue. And I am sure that eventually it will be so. The sooner the better," Putin stressed.
Commenting on the rhetoric of the United States against North Korea, Putin recalled the situation with Iraq, when the country was invaded under the pretext of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction and its leader Saddam Hussein removed from power.
"Do you think they [the US] will refrain from that now? But we have to be saying that we are on the path of cooperation, that we are ready to ensure their [North Korea’s] safety, ready to formulate conditions that would be understandable and acceptable. I assure you that if we go this way, the overall situation in the region, relations between North and South [Korea] will gradually transform into cooperation," Putin said.
Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin underlined that Moscow does not recognize North Korea's nuclear status and noted that the economic sanctions could not completely hinder North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, stressing that through unilateral sanctions "we would not achieve what we want."
At the same time, Putin said that it was necessary, in the situation around North Korea, not to give in to emotions and not to drive Pyongyang into a corner, adding that steps that lead to an escalation of tensions must be avoided.
On Sunday, North Korea said it conducted its most powerful nuclear test of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile.
Commenting on the DPRK's statement, US President Donald Trump said Pyongyang's actions are "hostile and dangerous" and emphasized that the "talk of appeasement" would not work. He also reaffirmed the US readiness to protect the US and its allies by "using the full range of diplomatic, conventional and nuclear capabilities at our disposal."
Moreover, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters that any threats to the United States or its allies would be met with a massive, "effective and overwhelming" military response. Mattis also said that Trump had been briefed on various military options available to the United States.