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Putin: North Korea Would Let Its People Starve Before Giving Up Nukes
Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want anyone to underestimate how committed Kim Jong Un is to pursuing his nuclear weapons program.
Speaking Tuesday at a news conference in China, Putin said the North Korean leader would let his people starve before ever abandoning his nuclear and missile defense programs. “They will eat grass but they will not turn away from the path that will provide for their security,” CNN reports Putin said.
On Sunday North Korea conducted its sixth and most destructive nuclear test to date, and the Russian leader is not mincing words about the threat that he sees coming from Pyongyang.
Putin cautioned against “military hysteria” and emphasized that the only way to resolve the current crisis was through diplomacy.
According to Putin, Kim Jong Un has seen how the West intervened in Iraq and believes that the very survival of his regime depends on its development of nuclear weapons.
“Saddam Hussein rejected the production of weapons of mass destruction, but even under that pretense, he was destroyed and members of his family were killed,” Putin said. “The country was demolished and Saddam Hussein was hanged. Everyone knows that and everyone in North Korea knows that.”
In light of how committed North Korea is to building its weapons program, the Russian leader sees any kind of sanctions as a “useless and ineffective” method of de-escalating the situation.
Speaking with pragmatism and little optimism, Putin said, “We know that North Korea has nukes, we also know that North Korea has long-range artillery and it has other types of weapons and there are no weapons against long-range artillery — and these weapons can be difficult to locate. So we think that this military hysteria will not lead to good results. It could lead to global catastrophe with lots of victims.”