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Putin warns against ‘intimidation’ of North Korea after missile launch

BEIJING — Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch as “dangerous” but warned against “intimidating” Pyongyang.

Speaking in China, Putin called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.

“I would like to confirm that we are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear states, including through the Korean Peninsula,” Putin told reporters.

But in comments that appeared aimed at the US, he said that “intimidating the DPRK is unacceptable,” using an acronym of North Korea.

North Korea tested a Hwasong-12 missile Sunday which reached an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,312 miles) and flew 787 kilometers (489 miles), according to state news agency KCNA.

Analysts estimated its ranged as 4,500 kilometers which would put the US territory of Guam within its reach.

A small island in the Pacific, Guam is home to Andersen Air Force Base, through which the US Air Force rotates heavy bombers including B-1s, B-2s and B-52s.

KCNA said the test showed North Korea “has all powerful means for retaliatory strike” should Washington take any military action to stop its nuclear weapons program.

Putin made the comments on the sidelines of the One Belt One Road summit in Beijing, a meeting of 29 heads of state convened by Chinese President Xi Jinping to push his vision for China’s global expansion.

The Russian president called on all parties to “find peaceful solutions.”

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