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North Korea Not a Nuclear Power, Says Putin

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Vladimir Putin Kremlin Press Service

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia does not recognize North Korea as a nuclear power, following the isolated regime’s latest nuclear test.

“Our principled position is that we don’t recognize the nuclear status of North Korea,” Putin told journalists after talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. 

The comments come after Putin said at the BRICS summit in China on Monday that even though North Korea possess a nuclear arsenal, sanctions against the country are “useless and ineffective.”

“They will eat grass, but will not stop their [nuclear] program until they guarantee safety for themselves,” the president said at the summit, describing Pyongyang's resolve.

North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test on Sept. 3 is a “grave violation” of UN resolutions and threatens regional security, the Russian president said on Wednesday.

“We shouldn’t succumb to emotions and corner North Korea,” Putin said. “We cannot resolve this situation without diplomatic tools, without talks,” he said.

Putin urged the international community to follow the Russian-Chinese “roadmap” which he said offered a realistic path to settling the dispute over North Korea’s nuclear program. 

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