The leaders of Russia and China have agreed that they will not accept North Korea’s nuclear and missile strategy, but they reaffirmed their opposition to a possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, according to their joint statement Monday. The statement was issued after Russian President Vladimir Putin held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last Saturday in Beijing.
Putin and Xi said they agreed that the long-stalled six-party talks are the best way to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Separately, a North Korean nuclear envoy who visited Beijing last week said Pyongyang wouldn’t return to the negotiating table on the country’s nuclear weapons program.
Putin and Xi also agreed that they would fully implement U.N. sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Russia and China have long voiced opposition to the deployment of a THAAD battery to South Korea, claiming that the U.S. missile shield may undermine the strategic balance in the region. South Korea and the U.S. have dismissed the concerns, saying the THAAD system is defensive in nature and would only target North Korea.