Putin says pressure on North Korea is both ‘futile’ and a ‘dead-end road’

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the U.S. and others to avoid going down a "dead-end road" with Pyongyang.
  • North Korea has conducted a flurry of missile tests in recent weeks amid escalating international unease.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the U.S. and others to avoid going down a "dead-end road" with North Korea on Friday, adding only dialogue without pre-conditions could resolve the crisis.

"Russia believes that the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile," Putin said in an article published overnight by the Kremlin, ahead of the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China.

"The region's problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. Provocations, pressure and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road," he added.

'On the brink of a large-scale conflict'

North Korea has conducted a flurry of missile tests in recent weeks amid escalating international unease, prompting Putin to weigh in on Friday and warn that the ongoing geopolitical dispute is "balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict."

On Tuesday, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan in a move which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described as an "unprecedented" threat to his country. U.S. President Donald Trump also criticized the missile launch, suggesting it was an act of "contempt."

The missile, which was fired early on Tuesday local time, flew over Hokkaido Island before crashing into the sea. The test appeared to have been conducted in response to an ongoing joint military exercise being carried out by the U.S. and South Korea.

The United Nations condemned North Korea's "outrageous" firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan. However, while the 15-member Security Council urged the country to discontinue its nuclear program, the UN stopped short of threatening new sanctions on Pyongyang.

Russia's and China's ambassadors to the UN both said they were opposed to unilateral sanctions on North Korea. Instead, Moscow and Beijing repeated calls for the U.S. and South Korea to terminate their so-called war games.

Typically, diplomats said veto-wielding council members China and Russia only view a test of a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon as a trigger for further possible sanctions, Reuters reported.

War of words

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guides a target-striking contest of the special operation forces of the Korean People's Army to occupy islands in Pyongyang on Aug. 25, 2017.
KCNA | Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guides a target-striking contest of the special operation forces of the Korean People's Army to occupy islands in Pyongyang on Aug. 25, 2017.

Tensions concerning Pyongyang's nuclear missile program have accelerated since a war of words broke out between Trump and the North Korean government last month.

Last week, the U.S. and Japan imposed fresh sanctions on entities and organizations that support North Korea, including those in China and Russia.

WATCH: Here's what a land war with North Korea could look like