Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program is deepening after the issue dominated talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow. He and Abe believe the situation on the Korean peninsula has “seriously deteriorated,” Putin said Thursday after the Kremlin meeting. “We call on all states involved in the region’s affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek peaceful constructive dialogue,” Abe said he and Putin spent

a long time discussing North Korea during the three hours of talks that also focused on resolving a seven-decade long dispute over four islands seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The issue has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace accord. The 17th meeting between the two leaders took place after Russia warned on Wednesday that the Korean peninsula is “on the brink of war.” Japan has sent warships to join drills with the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which is leading a battle group ordered to the region by President Donald Trump. READ MORE