Published: Wed, September 06, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

North Korea Nuclear Test: Vladimir Putin Condemns "Provocative" Actions

North Korea Nuclear Test: Vladimir Putin Condemns

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated his hopes of an improved relations with the US under President Donald Trump, and he would at the moment refrain from retaliating to Washington's order to close Russia's consulate in San Francisco, Bloomberg reports. "It could lead to a global catastrophe", he told reporters.

The leaders of Russian Federation and South Korea have condemned North Korea over its latest nuclear test, but still appear far apart on the issue of stepping up sanctions against Pyongyang.

It said the decision was in response to the Kremlin forcing the United States to cut diplomatic staff in Russian Federation, and warned it was "prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted".

In December 2016, then United States president Barack Obama ordered out 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two embassy summer houses over reports of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"Strictly speaking, the full parity does not mean 455 US diplomats stationed in Moscow but minus 155 more", Putin said.

The Russian leader also said Tuesday he could sue USA authorities over violating Russian property rights.

Pyongyang will not relinquish its military program under pressure of sanctions and military threats, because the examples of Iraq and Libya have convinced it that nuclear deterrence is the only credible way to ensure its security, President Putin told journalists on Tuesday.

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Putin refrained from outwardly criticizing President Trump, but said the US leader was "not my bride, and I'm not his groom".

The situation soon snowballed, with Russian Federation ousting hundreds of US embassy staff by the start of September.

Putin called the seizure of the compounds "an obvious violation of property rights".

During the conference, the Russian president censured as "uncivil", the recent United States decision to expel Russian diplomats from a consulate in San Francisco with just two days' notice. "For a start I will order the foreign ministry to go to court", he said.

Lavrov "noted that a choice should be made in favour of political and diplomatic efforts to look for a peaceful settlement", Russia's foreign ministry said after he spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

When announcing the decision to close the U.S. sites, a State Department spokesman noted "Russia will still maintain more diplomatic and consular annexes in the United States than we have in Russian Federation".

The latest decision was due to "unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries" after Russian Federation expelled 3,000 US diplomatic staff from Moscow late July, according to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

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