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The Russian president says his country cannot remain mute to the Korean crisis  as it has a border with North Korea.
The Russian president says his country cannot remain mute to the Korean crisis  as it has a border with North Korea.

Putin Says Strike on N. Korea Possible, But Outcome Uncertain

The Russian leader says coercive rhetoric against Pyongyang and attempts “to speak from a position of strength” only give more power to the North Korean leadership

Putin Says Strike on N. Korea Possible, But Outcome Uncertain

A global strike to disarm North Korea would be possible, yet its outcome will be uncertain, as it is a “closed state,” Russian President Vladimir Putin stated.
“Let us speak to the point, after all – can someone launch a global disarming strike? Indeed. Will it reach its targets? It’s unclear because no one knows for sure what is where,” Putin said while addressing the 2017 International Forum on Energy Efficiency in Moscow on Wednesday, Sputnik reported.
He added there is no “100 percent knowledge” about North Korea’s objects as it is “a closed country.”
Putin said, coercive rhetoric against Pyongyang and attempts “to speak from a position of strength” only give more power to the North Korean leadership.
The Russian leader urged all sides to cool down their rhetoric and engage in dialogue.
“All sides must ease rhetoric and find ways for face-to-face dialogue between the United States and North Korea, as well as between North Korea and countries in the region,” he said.
“Only this would help find balanced and reasonable decisions.”
The Russian president noted that his country cannot remain mute to the Korean crisis as it has a border with North Korea.

  US Ties May Improve
Putin said that ties with US President Donald Trump’s administration were not without problems, but he hoped that mutual interests of Russia and the United States in fighting terrorism would help improve Moscow’s relations with Washington, Reuters reported.
“Some forces are making use of Russian-American relations to resolve internal political problems in the United States,” Putin was quoted as saying.
“I believe that such a person like Trump, with his character, will never be hostage to someone’s interests.”
Moscow has “lots of friends” in the United States who genuinely want to improve relations with Russia, Putin added.

  Handling KRG Vote With Care
Pointing to the controversial independence vote by Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) late last month, Putin said that Russia was exercising a policy of non-interference and using cautious rhetoric after in order not to explode the situation in the region.
He said that it was in no-one’s interest to cut off oil supplies from Iraq’s Kurdistan.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world.
He stopped short of saying Turkey had decided to close off the oil flow. Hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day come through the pipeline in Turkey from northern Iraq, but he made clear the option was on the table.
“After this, let’s see through which channels the northern Iraqi regional government will send its oil, or where it will sell it,” Erdogan said in a speech. “We have the tap. The moment we close the tap, then it’s done.”
In defiance of Iraq’s stiff opposition, the KRG held a non-binding referendum on September 25 on secession from the central government in Baghdad.
Official results showed 92.7% of voters backed the secession. Turnout was put at 72.61%.

  Undecided to Run in 2018 Election
Putin said he had not yet decided whether he would run for re-election in March 2018, something he is widely expected to do.
“Not only have I not decided yet who I will stand against, I have not decided whether I will run at all,” Putin said, when asked who he would run against in the election.
He said presidential hopefuls would have to announce their decision to run in late November or early December.
If Putin decides to run, he is widely expected to win a landslide victory in the first round, because he will face no strong challenge.

  Mattis Backs Tillerson
Meanwhile, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis tried to clear up doubts about the US administration’s North Korea strategy Tuesday, backing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s effort to find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff, AFP reported.
US Defense Secretary Mattis was speaking two days after President Donald Trump appeared to undermine his top diplomat by saying Tillerson was “wasting his time” by maintaining contacts with Kim Jong-Un’s regime.
Mattis, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the Pentagon stands four square behind the strategy —and singled out Tillerson for support
“The defense department supports fully Secretary Tillerson’s efforts to find a diplomatic solution but remains focused on defense of the United States and our allies.”

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