VLADIVOSTOK -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Russian President Vladimir Putin called for efforts to stop North Korea from making any further provocations Wednesday, calling it the most urgent challenge facing their countries and the rest of the world.
"President Putin and I agreed that resolving the North Korean nuclear issue at the earliest date possible is the most important task," the South Korean leader said of his bilateral talks with the Russian president in the Russian far eastern city of Vladivostok.
Speaking at a joint press conference following their summit, Putin said his country cannot accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, according to the Korean translation of his remarks.
The leaders' remarks followed North Korea's latest and sixth nuclear test staged Sunday.
|South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (Yonhap)|
"North Korea's such nuclear provocation has violated UN Security Council resolutions," Putin said at the joint media event.
The Russian president, however, insisted only sanctions and pressure could not resolve the issue, stressing the need to resume dialogue with the reclusive North.
Moon earlier underscored the need to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully through negotiations, but said now was not the time for dialogue.
In his earlier telephone conversation with Putin, held one day after the North's latest nuclear provocation, the South Korean leader stressed the need to put in place additional and stronger sanctions against the North that will leave the country with no other choice but to come to the dialogue table.
Such measures should include completely cutting off the oil supply to the impoverished North, Moon has said.
"The global political situation has become very serious due to North Korea's repeated provocations," the South Korean leader told the Russian president at the start of their meeting.
"I believe the situation may enter an uncontrollable state if the North does not halt its provocations. So I wish to work together to have North Korea stop its provocations and find ways to fundamentally resolve the North Korean nuclear issue," Moon added.
The Moon-Putin summit came amid growing concerns over North Korea's apparently evolving nuclear and missile capabilities.
The North's latest and sixth nuclear test is believed to have been its most powerful nuclear test so far. The communist state has also staged nine missile tests since the new South Korean leader took office in May. Since the beginning of the year, the communist regime has conducted 14 missile launches.
Moon arrived here earlier in the day for a two-day visit. He was set to hold a bilateral summit with his Mongolian counterpart Khaltmaagiin Battulga later Wednesday.
On Thursday, the South Korean president will hold bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before attending the third Eastern Economic Forum, an economic summit aimed at promoting regional cooperation in the development of the Russian Far East. (Yonhap)