The Russian President said that in the early 2000s, Kim Jong-il, the father of the current North Korean leader, told him that his country had nuclear weapons. According to Vladimir Putin, the Western sanctions have not changed. On the contrary, they encouraged Pyongyang to develop a hydrogen bomb.
Speaking at the first plenary session of the international forum “Russian Energy Week”, Vladimir Putin said that Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, told him in 2001 that North Korea owned ‘nuclear weapon.
“Look, in 2001, on my way to Japan, I visited North Korea and met the father of the current leader. He then told me that they had an atomic bomb and that they could easily hit Seoul with simple artillery systems. It was when? In 2001! Now, in 2017, the country lives under a permanent sanctions regime, and instead of the atomic bomb, they have a hydrogen bomb, “said the President.
Vladimir Putin also pointed out that the Western sanctions against Pyongyang did not change the situation in any way. On the contrary, they were tightened at a time when North Korea had almost given up its nuclear program.
“No, just a week later, we had to block the accounts of the North Korean banks because someone felt that the commitments made by North Korea were too insignificant and that it had to take more. In fact, they had agreed on well-defined points and nothing more. Why was it necessary to provoke them? Immediately, they definitely emerged from all agreements and began to develop their nuclear program. Now we have what we have, “concluded Vladimir Putin.
Pyongyang has increased the number of ballistic missiles and nuclear tests in recent months, in spite of the international community’s prohibitions. The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on the Pyongyang regime following its sixth underground nuclear test in September. It was the most powerful test conducted by North Korea.