Putin: North Korea Would 'Eat Grass' Before Giving Up Nukes


Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the two leaders "decisively condemned" North Korean weapons tests.

The detonation triggered a 6.3 magnitude natural disaster near the test site and was estimated to be 10 times stronger than its previous test. Mr Putin said at a news conference in China that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would allow its people to eat grass before he ever gives up his nuclear weapon and missile programmes.

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3.

"Now it is inevitable to cut off oil supplies to the North, we hope Russian Federation will cooperate as well", Moon was quoted as telling Putin by presidential spokesman Yoon Young-Chan, Yonhap news agency reported.

Mr Moon and Mr Abe agreed to co-operate on seeking tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea and pledged to strengthen efforts to persuade Beijing and Moscow to cut off oil supplies to the North, said Mr Moon's press secretary.

The French presidency says Macron on Friday had an intensive exchange of views by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping, given the "major role" his country plays in the crisis.

"In order to compel North Korea to come to the dialogue table, United Nations sanctions must be strengthened".

South Korea is closely watching North Korea over the possibility it may test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile as soon as Saturday when it celebrates its founding anniversary.

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China has once again urged the US and South Korea to halt the deployment of a high-tech missile defense system in South Korea. Washington and Seoul began deploying THAAD before a conservative South Korean government was ousted in a corruption scandal.

The move comes amid tensions over North Korea's latest nuclear test.

Moon, who came to power earlier this year advocating a policy of pursuing engagement with Pyongyang, has come under increasing pressure to take a harder line on North Korea.

Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed in a telephone call on Tuesday that China, the North's main ally and trading partner, must do more to persuade North Korea to cease its missile tests, a spokesman for May said.

"Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants".

Merkel also talked to U.S. President Donald Trump late Monday to discuss the latest provocation by North Korea.

Putin called on all North Korea's neighbors to show restraint, indicating the bellicose rhetoric and the military drills are only "playing into their hands".

"Whipping up military hysteria makes absolutely no sense in this situation", Putin said. The explosion was said to be nearly 10 times more powerful than the country's last nuclear test a year ago.

Moscow had previously ordered Washington to reduce its diplomatic presence to 455 people by September 1, the same number that Russian Federation has in the US.