Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the escalating crisis over North Korea’s weapons program risks developing into a “global catastrophe” with mass casualties. Putin, speaking in China on Tuesday at the closure of the BRICs summit, cautioned against “military hysteria” and said that the only way to resolve the crisis was through diplomacy.
He warned that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has calculated that the survival of his regime depends on its development of nuclear weapons. Kim had seen how western intervention in Iraq had ended in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein after which the country was ravaged by war, Putin warned, and Kim was determined not to suffer the same fate.
“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.”
Putin said that while Russia condemned North Korea’s latest actions, imposing any kind of sanctions would be “useless and ineffective.” Kim would rather starve his people than see his regime overthrown, he said. “They will eat grass but they will not turn away from the path that will provide for their security,” he said.