Russia, South Korea disagree on DPRK sanctions

World Today

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Pyongyang should be slapped with more sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that is not the answer.

CGTN’s Jack Barton has the details from Seoul.

Russian and South Korean presidents discussed DPRK issues during the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia. Moon wants Moscow to back tougher sanctions on Pyongyang, including an oil embargo and a ban on hiring DPRK workers. Putin has criticized the DPRK’s nuclear program, but said sanctions have been useless.

“It is clear that it is impossible to resolve the DPRK issue only though sanctions and pressure,” Putin said. “We should not give in to emotion and push the DPRK into the corner. Now more than ever it is important for everyone to remain calm and to avoid steps leading to an escalation of tension.”

The United States believe sanctions still have a role.

“It (sanction) cuts off the revenue that allows them to build ballistic missiles,” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN, said.

Having long pressed for dialogue, the pendulum in South Korea has now swung towards preparations for self-defense, including military drills conducted without the United States expected to continue until Saturday.

“If the DPRK doesn’t stop its provocations, we could face an unpredictable situation in the future,” Moon Jae-in said.

Concern has spread well beyond the immediate region.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the best avenue to solve the issue without a military conflict is continued enforcement of strong economic sanctions.

China has criticized the latest nuclear test and backed previous tough sanctions, but has warned that an oil embargo could cause a humanitarian crisis in the DPRK.

On Thursday, Putin will hold separate talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.