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Putin: North Korea Would 'Eat Grass' Before Giving Up Nukes

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TOM BRENNER  NYT

That could also create a problem in the security alliance to oppose North Korea's nuclear missile program. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, has been seen by some in the region and South Korea as a provocative measure that exacerbates tensions with the North. The Kim regime is anxious enough that it is reportedly stockpiling oil supplies, in anticipation of a possible embargo.

The Russian leader said "ramping up military hysteria in such conditions is senseless", and called for a diplomatic solution to the standoff between the US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The White House on Wednesday released details of calls Tuesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. South Korea is an important trade partner for heartland farmers, including cattle ranchers and dairy operators in states like Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa and in, all of which are key elements of the Trump coalition, and attacking South Korea at this crucial moment doesn't help Mr. Trump's messaging with North Korea.

Turnbull told reporters: "A conflict would be catastrophic - everyone understands that".

They were "more numerous and widespread than what we have seen from any of the five tests North Korea previously conducted", the site's analysis said.

The U.S. should crack down harder on Chinese banks and firms that do business with North Korea.

The U.N. secretary-general is warning the US and North Korea that "confrontational rhetoric may lead to unintended consequences" and stressing that the nuclear crisis must be solved diplomatically.

"China, African, other Asian countries continue to trade with North Korea".

These war games, which involved thousands of troops, simulated an invasion of North Korea, and a "decapitation" operation to remove the country's leaders from power.

But their most risky launch is yet to come, with experts believing the Hermit Kingdom is about to launch their first fully-nuclear missile at a land target. The sanctions imposed on North Korea by the global community are aimed at pressuring Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

Diplomats say the UN Security Council could consider banning North Korean textile exports, barring its airline or stopping supplies of oil to the government and military.

Mattis said the United States has "many military options".

He said possible new economic sanctions would affect ordinary Koreans, not the nuclear or missile programs.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has dismissed the Russian-Chinese roadmap, saying the United States is "done talking about North Korea".

None of US options for responding to North Korea's nuclear armament are good.

Moon urged Russian Federation to back stronger sanctions including the cutting off oil supplies, but Putin expressed concern that such moves would hurt regular North Koreans, said Yoon Young-chan, Moon's chief press secretary.

The US accused North Korea's trading partners of aiding its nuclear ambitions and said Pyongyang was "begging for war".

"President Xi would like to do something".

The move comes amid tensions over North Korea's latest nuclear test.

Sunday's test took place underground at the mountainous Punggye-ri site.

"But we will not be putting up with what's happening in North Korea", he added. South Korea's defence minister has estimated the yield from the explosion at 50 kilotons, while 38 North said it was now believed to be 100 kilotons or more.

Ahead of the meeting with Mr Putin, he said the situation could get out of hand if North Korea's missile and nuclear tests are not stopped.

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