Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday expressed his opposition to proposals to cut off oil supplies to North Korea, Seoul's presidential office said. "We could deliver Russian pipeline gas to Korea and integrate the power lines and railway systems of Russia, the Republic of Korea and North Korea".
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang warned this week that further THAAD deployment "can only severely damage the strategic security balance in the region", harm the strategic interests of other countries such as China and cause further antagonism on the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea's defense ministry says the remaining launchers for a USA missile defense system deployed to the country will be installed Thursday, in the wake of North Korea's latest nuclear test.
A THAAD battery normally consists of six launchers that can fire up to 48 interceptor missiles, but only two launchers been operational at the site, on a former golf course.
"We are also opposed to and condemn the North Korean nuclear development", Yoon Young-chan, senior presidential secretary for public relations for the Blue House, quoted the Russian President as having said. Putin did not say how close the two countries were to such an agreement. He said it "offers a genuine way to defuse the tensions and a step-by-step settlement".
Setting aside such an economic special zone could open up possibilities for investment by China and South Korea, rather than wait for Japanese investors to take action. Seoul's Defence Ministry has said the U.S. military will begin installing the additional launchers today.
While Putin reiterated Moscow's opposition to new sanctions against North Korea, he told reporters he had assured South Korean President Moon Jae-in that Moscow condemns North Korea's nuclear test and thinks it "flagrantly violates" worldwide law.
At the news conference on Wednesday, Putin also reiterated Moscow and Beijing's calls for the USA and North Korea to avoid escalatory rhetoric, skepticism of the need for further sanctions, and support for a "parallel freeze" of DPRK testing and U.S.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who during his presidential campaign vowed to review the deployment, halted the installation of the remaining four launchers in June pending an environmental review.
North Korea says it detonated a hydrogen bomb in its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.
South Korea has pushed for moves to cut off Pyongyang's key supplies of fuel oil, but Russian Federation dismissed such a call, while China has also reluctant to take measures that could trigger instability or a refugee exodus on its frontier.
At a joint news conference following his meeting with Moon, Putin condemned North Korea's tests, calling Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programme a "crude violation of UN Security Council resolutions" that "undermines the non-proliferation regime and creates a threat to the security of northeastern Asia".
Putin pointed out that he had discussed the North Korean issue with the leaders of Japan and North Korea.
"Myself and President Putin share a view that North Korea has gone the wrong way with its nuclear and missile programme and that easing tension on the Korean peninsula is an urgent issue", Mr Moon said.
Today in Vladivostok, on island Russian, is the second day of the Third Eastern economic forum.
Abe, who will meet Putin in Vladivostok on Thursday, said before his departure from Japan that "we must make North Korea understand there is no bright future for the country if it pursues the current path".
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He said on Thursday he would prefer not to use military action, but if he did, it would be a "very sad day" for North Korea. That area included waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula, she added, without giving any further details.
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