Putin, Xi Call For North Korean Freeze on Missile Tests
Russia and China have agreed on a need for a freeze on North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs as well as large-scale joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea.
Hours after Pyongyang announced a missile launch Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would coordinate with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to promote their plan to combat North Korea’s growing missile threat.
“We’ve agreed to robustly promote our joint initiative to find a solution to the Korean issue based on the Russian step-by-step program, and the Chinese ideas of concurrently freezing DPRK’s nuclear activity, as well as United States’ and South Korea’s large joint military trainings,” Putin told a news conference following a meeting between the two leaders in Moscow.
North Korea said it has successfully carried out the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, something that would be a crucial milestone in Pyongyang’s effort to develop its nuclear weapons capability, despite repeated international warnings to the contrary.
The missile, which was launched from an airport near China’s northeastern border with North Korea, landed in Japan’s special economic zone, sending shockwaves through Tokyo’s political establishment and confirming Beijing’s inability to keep Pyongyang in check.
Later this week, the United States, South Korea and Japan will hold a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Nations summit in Hamburg, Germany, which the Russian and Chinese leaders are expected to attend.