The United States and South Korea have asked the United Nations to consider tough new sanctions on North Korea after its nuclear test on Sunday that Pyongyang said was an advanced hydrogen bomb. Chinese President Xi Jinping wants a nuclear weapons free Korean peninsula, but echoes Russia's resistance to more punitive measures to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
"They would rather eat grass but will not give up the [nuclear] program if they do not feel safe", Putin was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.
"The use of sanctions in this situation is useless and inefficient".
It has said it makes no sense to impose additional sanctions that would starve the North Korean economy into submission.
"Everybody remembers what happened to Saddam Hussein", he said. "That does not reflect well on our American partners", Putin added, according to Reuters. Listen, it is a thing that everybody knows and remembers. Most of Russia's exports to North Korea are oil, coal and refined products.
During the BRICS news conference, Putin also addressed the situation with North Korea. "This is being done by people who mix up Australia with Austria", the Russian president sneered.
But Putin was reluctant to support Moon's push for harsher sanctions.
During their meeting in the Russian city of Vladivostok, Moon urged Putin to back stricter penalties against President Kim Jong Un's government after it successfully tested a nuclear bomb on Sunday that could be attached to an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States mainland.
But North Korea's nuclear test on Sunday led to sharp criticism that now is a time for South Korea and the U.S.to strengthen their alliance, not undermine it with a trade row.
Russian Federation is ready to take part in talks to try to solve the North Korean issue but has yet to see any positive impact from sanctions against Pyongyang, a Kremlin spokesman said on Sunday.
Moon insisted increased cooperation between the two countries may be crucial to establishing lasting peace in the region. "Provocations, pressure and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road".
This is a stark contrast to Trump, who has said that "all options are on the table" when it comes to North Korea.
"The president asked Russian Federation to help, noting it was imperative to at least cut off oil supplies to North Korea this time", according to Moon's spokesman Yoon Young-chan.
"The president held discussions in the end of the day with business representatives".