BEIJING, May 15. /TASS/. Russia is strongly opposed to the expansion of the nuclear powers’ club, including at the expense of North Korea, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference on Monday.
"I want to confirm that we are strongly opposed to expanding the nuclear powers’ club," he said answering a question from a TASS correspondent about North Korea’s missile launch.
The Russian president noted that Russia’s stance is well known to its partners in the world in general and in North Korea in particular. "We are opposed to that and believe this is counterproductive, harmful and dangerous," he emphasized.
North Korea's missile launch
North Korea’s latest missile launch posed no immediate threat to Russia, Putin noted:
"The launch was of no immediate threat to us," Putin said.
Right after the launch Putin heard a report from Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.
"There is nothing to comment on," Putin said. "This does provoke further development of the conflict and there is nothing good about that, of course."
North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported a successful launch of a Hwasong-12 missile on Sunday. The launch was carried out in compliance with the security of neighboring states, the KCNA said, adding that the purpose was to assess the "tactical and technological parameters of a new type of ballistic missile meant for a large nuclear warhead."
The Russian Defense Ministry said that its means of warning of a missile attack registered the launch at about 23:30 Moscow time on May 13. The missile fell in the central part of the Sea of Japan some 500 kilometers away from Russia’s territory.
UN Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from any activity related with the development of nuclear warheads or delivery vehicles. Pyongyang does not recognize these resolutions. It argues that North Korea has the full right to enhance its defenses in view of Washington’s hostile policies.
Further nuclear tests are unacceptable, the Russian president has added and called for resuming dialogue with North Korea.
"In any case, we consider that nuclear and missile tests are unacceptable and there is the need to resume dialogue with North Korea, to stop intimidating it and find peaceful solutions to problems," Putin said.
On the other hand, blatant violations of international law, incursions in the territory of other countries and regime changes spark this arms race, he noted. "There is the need here for a comprehensive approach, enhancing the system of international guarantees using international law and the UN Charter."
Speaking about the prospects of peaceful talks with Pyongyang, Putin said this is possible, "moreover that there has been a positive experience of this dialogue with North Korea." He recalled that some time ago North Korea said it would halt its nuclear program, but not all participants of talks had enough patience. "I think we should return to this," he said.