Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Thursday that North Korea must not be “backed into a corner” and urged dialogue to end its nuclear standoff with the U.S. Tensions have increased between Pyongyang and Washington in recent weeks, with President Donald Trump promising in August that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury” if it threatens the U.S. and calling Kim Jong Un, the North’s leader, “rocket man” in a speech at the U.N. last month.  Putin did not mention the U.S.

specifically on Thursday, but warned of the growing possibility of conflict and pointed out that North Korea is a “sovereign country.” “Problems should be solved in dialogue, and North Korea should not be backed into a corner,” Putin said in a speech to the elite of Russia’s foreign policy establishment and foreign guests at a meeting organized by the Valdai Discussion Club near the Black Sea resort of Sochi. A series of missile and nuclear tests has rattled North Korea’s neighbors. The U.S. has responded with sanctions. READ MORE