Vladimir Putin warns world faces 'global catastrophe' over North Korea


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said that imposing new sanctions on North Korea was not the answer to the country's nuclear and ballistic development, speaking at a summit of BRICS nations in Xiamen, China.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a meeting with a committee of the Workers' Party of Korea about the test of a hydrogen bomb, at an unknown location.

"President Trump noted that this latest provocation only serves to increase the global community's resolve to counter North Korea's prohibited activities", the White House said in a read out of the call.

"However, I am concerned cutting off oil supplies to North Korea may cause damage to people in hospitals or other ordinary citizens", Putin added, according to Yoon's briefing to reporters. "It could lead to a global, planetary catastrophe and a huge loss of human life".

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian president warned against cornering North Korea, and reiterated Moscow's stance that sanctions against the regime in Pyongyang would not help resolve the problems on the Korean peninsula. South Korea and the United States said they did not rule out a possible military response to North Korea's actions.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, has said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was "begging for war" with the country's latest nuclear test.

Putin met South Korea's Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of an economic summit in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok amid mounting worldwide concern that their neighbor plans more weapons tests, including possibly a long-range missile launch before a weekend anniversary.

Putin said he believed North Korea's leadership feared any freeze of its nuclear program would be followed by what amounted to "an invitation to the cemetery".

The miscommunication comes at a time when Seoul and Washington need to cooperate closely in dealing with the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Protesters scuffled with armoured riot police as they attempted to block the road where US Forces Korea were transporting four additional THAAD missile interceptor launchers to a base in Seongju, around 300 km south of Seoul. He also faulted South Korea for its "talk of appeasement".

Meanwhile the European Union said it is preparing to increase its own sanctions against North Korea, as part of worldwide efforts to punish the rogue state.

"We should treat that claim with scepticism, but the House must be under no illusion that this latest test marks another perilous advance in North Korea's nuclear ambitions".