Meeting with heads of Russian print media and news agencies -
January 11, 2018
Ahead of Russian Press Day marked on January 13, Vladimir Putin met with heads of Russian print media and news agencies in the editorial office of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. The discussion focused on current professional issues. The President congratulated media representatives on their professional holiday.
Editor-in-Chief of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper Vladislav Fronin: Mr President, I have a question about the Korean Peninsula. The new year has brought good news about contacts, trends and possible meetings. At the same time, there is alarming news about nuclear buttons and whose is bigger. What do you think about the developments concerning the Korean Peninsula in the first days of the new year?
Vladimir Putin: I think that Kim Jong Un has obviously won this round. He has achieved his strategic goal. He has a nuclear warhead, and now he also has a missile with a global range of up to 13,000 kilometres, which can reach almost any part of the globe, at least in the territory of his potential adversary. And now he wants to clear up, smooth over or calm down the situation.
He is a shrewd and mature politician. However, we should be realistic, and based on what we have to go on we must act extremely carefully. If we want to achieve the difficult goal of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, we should do this through dialogue and talks.
I believe that, however difficult this may seem, we can accomplish this mission if all parties to this process, including the North Koreans, become convinced that their security can be also guaranteed without nuclear weapons.
This is how I want to reply in conclusion. It is closely connected with your question and the previous question as well. We are discussing the New START Treaty with our American partners. They have suddenly stated, although their intention fits the letter of the treaty, that they want to convert some of their delivery vehicles – aircraft and submarines – together with silos to prevent their use for launching nuclear weapons.
In principle, this possibility is stipulated in the treaty. But the treaty also says that this is only possible if the other party, in this case Russia, verifies the conversion and is convinced that there is no breakout potential in this, that these silos or aircraft equipment will not be converted back for the use of nuclear weapons.
We have no proof of this so far. And we are therefore concerned about this. But our dialogue is ongoing. I hope it will be positive. [...]