Abe, Moon agree on greater pressure against North Korea

Putin, after meeting S.Korean leader, calls for talks on N.Korea crisis

Protesters scuffled with police Thursday as the United States deployed four additional launchers to complete an advanced missile defense system in South Korea.

A day after predicting "global catastrophe" if North Korea's nuclear tests lead to anything other than talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the situation may be "impossible" to resolve.

"We should not give in to emotions and push Pyongyang into a corner", Mr Putin said in a news conference after meeting Mr Moon. "We estimate this was far bigger than previous nuclear tests".

"But I believe the current conditions require us to strongly condemn North Korea's risky provocations and pressure the North, and that right now is not the time for dialogue".

A White House readout from his phone call yesterday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explicitly declared that the USA stood ready to use "the full range of diplomatic, conventional and nuclear capabilities at our disposal".

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.

Seoul has hardened its stance against Pyongyang after its torrent of weapons tests, the latest a detonation Sunday of what North Korea said was a thermonuclear weapon built for missiles capable of reaching the US mainland.

As well as ramping up the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, the Trump administration has given the green light for more "freedom of navigation" operations in another of the region's volatile flashpoints-the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported that North Korea's recent nuclear test appears to have triggered several landslides, according to what are believed to be the first satellite images of the aftermath.

Putin, after meeting S.Korean leader, calls for talks on N.Korea crisis
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South Korea's Unification Ministry said on Wednesday it was still expecting more activity from the North.

Moon Jae-in, who postured as a THAAD opponent during his election campaign, ordered the full deployment in late July after North Korea tested a long-range Hwaseong-14 ballistic missile.

Both Russia and China have criticized the THAAD deployment.

The also broached the situation around North Korea.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated China's opposition to the system, saying it could only "severely damage" regional security and raise "tensions and antagonism".

NATO ambassadors said after talks in Brussels on Wednesday that "it is now imperative that all nations implement more thoroughly and transparently existing U.N. sanctions" against the North.

Putin called on all North Korea's neighbors to show restraint, indicating the bellicose rhetoric and the military drills are only "playing into their hands".

Experts say the distance and trajectory achieved in recent missile tests show that North Korea's claims to be able to hit the USA could be legitimate.

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