Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the United States could be doing what North Korea wants by ramping up tensions with the rogue nation.
“It’s counterproductive to inflate this military hysteria. This leads nowhere,” Putin said, speaking alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga at the eastern economic forum in eastern Russia.
In recent weeks the Russian president has been critical of the United States’ handling of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea’s minister of external economic relations, who is attending the forum, said they will “respond to barbaric attempts to exert pressure by the US by our strong countermeasures,” according to reports from Russian News agency Tass.
“Attempts to use unprecedented aggressive sanctions and pressure to intimidate us and make us reverse our course are a huge mistake,” Kim Yong Jae said. “The United States should by all means keep in mind the nuclear status of our country, (which) owns nuclear and hydrogen bombs, and intercontinental ballistic missiles.”