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North Korea’s nuclear problem must be solved through security guarantees — Putin

Putin expressed hope that a solution to this problem would eventually be found

ST. PETERSBURG, June 5. /TASS/. The problem of North Korea’s nuclear program must be solved by offering security guarantees rather than by imposing more and more sanctions against the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

"We strongly oppose the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction across the planet. And our friends in North Korea are among those who are aware of that. But a solution to this problem lies not in choking North Korea or slapping it with more sanctions. On the contrary, conditions that guarantee security to North Korea must be created," the Russian leader told heads of world news agencies at a meeting organized by TASS.

Answering to a question from Cho Sung-boo, president of South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, Putin expressed hope that a solution to this problem would eventually be found.

"I’d like to think that we all - Russia included - will manage to find optimal ways of solving the North Korean problem," he said, adding that trilateral economic cooperation programs can become a useful instrument in achieving this goal.

The president also described relations between South Korea and Russia as "good."

"Relations between Russia and South Korea are developing in a very good way, in many directions. We are satisfied by cooperation with North Korea in the sphere of economy. Yes, trade turnover declined slightly amid the pandemic. But the trade turnover already started to rebound in the first quarter of 2021," he said.