Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted US attempts to pressure North Korea over its nuclear missile program Friday, stating the two countries are "on the verge of a large-scale conflict" as a result. The idea that North Korea's nuclear missile program can be stopped "exclusively by putting pressure on Pyongyang is erroneous and futile," Putin wrote in an article published on the Kremlin's website, per Reuters. "Provocations, pressure, and bellicose and offensive rhetoric is the road to nowhere," he continued, calling instead for "direct dialogue" without preconditions.
The article was shared days ahead of Putin's trip to China for the BRICS summit, which brings together leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The article also touted a plan to ease tensions developed by Moscow and Beijing. Putin suggested North Korea would halt its missile program if the US and South Korea agreed to end their annual war games viewed by North Korea as trial runs for war. This "roadmap … is designed to promote the gradual easing of tensions and the creation of a mechanism for lasting peace and security," Putin wrote, per TASS.