Economy

N. Korea crisis sparks nuclear debate in Japan, S. Korea

N. Korea crisis sparks nuclear debate in Japan, S. Koreaā€¯

China has consistently called for an easing of tensions and has backed Russia's calls for talks.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned that the escalating North Korean crisis could cause a "planetary catastrophe" and huge loss of life.

Nato's secretary-general said North Korean behaviour is a global threat and called for a united response.

Similar noises are emerging from South Korea, which is banned from building its own nuclear weapons under a 1974 atomic energy deal it signed with the US. "They are definitely up to something".

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday that the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons program risks becoming a "global catastrophe" - but rejected United States calls for additional sanctions as "useless".

South Korea has said the launchers for the USA missile defence system known as THAAD would be installed in the face of the growing threat from Pyongyang.

As I have told one of my colleagues yesterday, they will rather eat grass than abandon this program if they do not feel safe.

South Korea's military said it conducted a live-fire exercise simulating an attack on North Korea's nuclear test site to "strongly warn" Pyongyang over the latest nuclear test.

Privately, Russia has been making a play to insert itself into the back-channel diplomacy, three officials said.

Moon arrived earlier in the day for a two-day visit.

Declaring that "enough is enough", Haley said existing measures not worked and accused North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un of "begging for war" with the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

"This leads nowhere", Putin said, speaking alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga at an economic summit in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok Thursday.

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Washington would present a new sanctions resolution for debate in the coming days. But there's no appetite for elevating Russia's diplomatic role.

"Apart from power aspect, [Putin] talked a lot about how to embark upon a negotiation process, about what could be done", Ushakov said.

"Japan and Russian Federation will work together in the global society for that", Abe said in televised statement. "From the perspective of their foreign policy, it allows them to take a carrot and sticks approach to Washington".

But Nebenzia said Russian Federation would welcome other initiatives, noting that the Swiss have offered to mediate, and "if that works, I'll be happy".

But President Trump's recent statements targeting South Korea have led to growing concerns there.

Said South Korean lawmaker Ha Tae Keung with the conservative-leaning Bareun Party, which controls less than 10 per cent of seats in parliament: "Moon's at least doing better than Trump, who obviously has no idea of what an alliance is". A senior administration official said the USA was still assessing last weekend's underground explosion but so far noted nothing inconsistent with Pyongyang's claim.

Seongju residents, as well as opponents from around South Korea, fear the THAAD battery will make the small town a military target, while intensifying the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.

Public opposition to the deployment of US THAAD missile defense systems near a South Korean farming village has grown into major protests, with demonstrators coming out in force after the announcement the government was letting the US install four additional launchers.

The Trump administration must leave the door open to Russian Federation becoming a part of the solution to the North Korean crisis but recognize the dangers if Moscow is intent on becoming part of the problem.



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