Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the standoff between North Korea and the United States was about to become a major conflict and said it was wrong to try to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear missile program.
Putin, who is due to take part in the upcoming Brix summit in China next month, said in an article posted on the Kremlin's website before leaving the country that he preferred instead to negotiate with North Korea.
"It is necessary to solve the problems of the region through direct dialogue between all parties without any preconditions (for such talks)," he said.
"Provocations, pressure and talk of war and rhetoric will not lead to any result," Putin said.
The Russian leader said the situation on the Korean Peninsula had deteriorated so badly that he was now on the brink of a large-scale conflict.
North Korea is developing missiles with nuclear warheads capable of striking the United States and has recently threatened to drop missiles near the Pacific island of Guam.
"From Russia's point of view, the thought that it is possible to stop North Korea's nuclear missile program only by putting pressure on Pyongyang is wrong and futile," Putin wrote.
Putin said a roadmap prepared by Moscow and Beijing included Pyongyang's halt to its missile program in return for the United States and South Korea stopping major military exercises, a way to gradually reduce tensions.