Addressing the North Korea crisis Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes any kind of aggressive military strike against North Korea designed to destroy its nuclear and missile program had very little chance to succeed. Putin expressed concern that Pyongyang could have hidden military facilities that nobody knows about.
Despite U.S. President Donald Trump openly flirting with the idea of going after North Korea with force, Russia has been and continues to be strongly against the idea of a military strike against Kim Jong-un’s regime, favoring instead a combination of diplomacy and economic incentives instead.
But Putin, who spoke at an energy forum in Moscow yesterday, considered the possibilities of what could happen when broached on the subject. Believing that full information on the location of its weapons isn’t available, Putin made it clear he had serious doubts that such a move would produce the desired results, and expressed other political and moral concerns.
“Can a global strike against North Korea be launched to disarm it? Yes. Will it achieve its aim? We don’t know. Who knows what they have there and where. Nobody knows with 100 percent certainty as it’s a closed country.”
Putin said nobody has more reason to be concerned about how Pyongyang’s missile program may respond to an attack by the U.S. than his own country of Russia, citing the fact that North Korea’s nuclear testing range was located a mere 200 kilometers (124.27 miles) from the Russian border.
Referring to the constant threats against Pyongyang by United States President Donald Trump, Putin said that type of coercive rhetoric against Pyongyang and attempts “to speak from a position of strength” only give more power to the North Korean leadership.
The Russian leader also brought up to those in attendance that he hopes diplomacy and levelheadedness prevails and all sides will dial down the bellicose rhetoric. He also said he thought Trump was listening to Russia’s views on the crisis.
“All sides must ease rhetoric and find ways for face-to-face dialogue between the United States and North Korea, as well as between North Korea and countries in the region.”
More sanctions were not the right way to go, Putin told the same forum, saying around 40,000 North Korean citizens were currently employed in Russia.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]