Putin: North Korea should learn from fall of Saddam Hussein

Putin: North Korea should learn from fall of Saddam Hussein”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the escalating crisis over North Korea's weapons program risks developing into a "global catastrophe" with mass casualties.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe and South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, spoke at a regional meeting in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and agreed to try to persuade China and Russia to cut off oil to North Korea.

The White House said that in a phone call with Moon, Trump gave approval "in principle" to lifting restrictions on South Korean missile payloads and to approving "many billions" in weapons sales to South Korea.

North Korea's detonation of a hydrogen bomb on Sunday marked its most powerful nuclear test to date.

It's an inopportune time for grievances to be aired, and on Monday the two leaders sought to show they were confronting North Korea together - and with might. "President Trump noted that this latest provocation only serves to increase the worldwide community's resolve to counter North Korea's prohibited activities", the White House said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will discuss North Korea with the leaders of Russian Federation and South Korea at an economic forum and will seek ways to get the North to change its policy.

"Because the Americans are sending mixed signals, Putin probably sees an opening to take the lead", he said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday said the US will answer any threat from the North with a "massive military response". That list would include China, the U.S.'s biggest trading partner, which accounted for about a sixth of its overseas commerce.

Trump is scheduled to have his first conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping since the nuclear test at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday.

Separately, Abe spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin late Sunday, telling him that another strong United Nations resolution was needed.

Abe said, "We must make North Korea understand there is no bright future for the country if it pursues the current path".

"China will make close communication with relevant parties with an objective, fair and responsible attitude", Wang said without commenting if China would agree to curb oil exports to North Korea. Previous estimates have ranged from 50 kilotons to 120 kilotons.

However, sanctions have so far done little to stop North Korea boosting its nuclear and missile capacity as it faces off with Trump. "The fact that a nuclear bomb with a certain level of energy output has been developed, is a large threat not only for Japan but for the worldwide society".

Trump has previously vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons and said he would unleash "fire and fury" if it threatened US territory. The country held two ballistic missile tests in July and launched a yet another missile on August 29. South Korea has claimed that the North is making preparations for another ICBM test.

Either way, it's too unsafe to assume North Korea is bluffing.

"Do we think more sanctions are going to work on North Korea?"

On Monday, South Korea's military accurately fired a surface-to-surface ballistic missile and air-to-ground rocket onto a target in the East Sea (also known as the Sea of Japan), according to a text message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "We must now adopt the strongest possible measures", Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said earlier this week.

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