Putin condemns North Korea’s nuclear test, calls for talks

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) North Korea Supreme leader Kim Jong-un

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test but also warned against using military force against the country, calling it a “road to nowhere” that could lead to a “global catastrophe.”

North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday, triggering U.S. warnings of a “massive military response.” Rattled by the test, South Korea on Tuesday conducted live-fire exercises at sea in its second straight day of military display.

Putin told a televised news conference in China on Tuesday that Russia condemns North Korea’s nuclear test as “provocative.”

But he stopped short of expressing willingness to impose more sanctions on North Korea, saying Moscow views them as “useless and ineffective.”

Putin said North Korea’s neighbors should engage with it, not whip up “military hysteria.”