Putin calls for North Korea talks, says sanctions not working

Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju

North Korea launched its sixth test of a nuclear weapon Sunday with seismological data indicating the weapon was the most powerful ever to be detonated by Pyongyang, according to nuclear experts.

Known as "freeze for freeze" the proposal calls for Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending their joint military drills.

But Nebenzia said Russian Federation would welcome other initiatives, noting that the Swiss have offered to mediate, and "if that works, I'll be happy". On Sunday, Trump dispatched Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to warn of a "massive military response" if the North keeps threatening the US, while Trump hinted in a call with Japan's leader that the USA could even deploy its own nuclear arsenal.

Weapons experts say it's nearly impossible to verify if the warhead and missile could be successfully paired unless North Korea were to fire a nuclear-tipped ICBM. Diplomats have said the Security Council could now consider banning North Korean textile exports and its national airline, stop supplies of oil to the government and military, prevent North Koreans from working overseas and add top officials to a blacklist to subject them to an asset freeze and travel ban.

South Korea has carried out military drills since Sunday's nuclear test. Energy from the underground explosion, near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in northeast North Korea, was about six times stronger than the nuclear test of a year ago, South Korea's weather agency said. That would be a dramatic escalation of the longstanding USA strategy: increasing economic pressure on North Korea by restricting its access to funds needed for its weapons programs.

In an early morning tweet Tuesday, Trump said, "I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States".

The White House said that in a phone call with South Korean's president on Monday, Trump gave approval "in principle" to lifting previous restrictions on South Korean missile payloads and to approving "many billions" in weapons sales to South Korea.

Both leaders also agreed that the latest test was a grave provocation that was "unprecedented".

The United States on Monday launched a bid at the UN Security Council to quickly slap the "strongest possible measures" on North Korea in response to its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, but China and Russian Federation argued that diplomatic talks were needed to address the crisis.

Speaking at the United Nations, Haley said the United States would circulate a new Security Council resolution on North Korea this week and wanted a vote on it on Monday.

Resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis is impossible with sanctions and pressure alone, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday after meeting his South Korean counterpart, adding that the impact of cutting oil would be worrying.

Both leaders "condemned North Korea's continued reckless and risky behavior" and reaffirmed the importance of close coordination at the United Nations.

"It's counterproductive to inflate this military hysteria".

He said it in an interview with Channel One Russia's show "Nighttime with Vladimir Solovyov".

"We agreed to hold an in-depth discussion of the problem at a meeting in Vladivostok", Abe said.

Fitch Ratings' James McCormack weighs in on the impact of North Korea's nuclear bomb test on geopolitical risks.

Trump has previously vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons and said he would unleash "fire and fury" if it threatened USA territory.



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