Putin, speaking at an economic forum in the far eastern Russian port of Vladivostok alongside his South Korean counterpart and the Japanese prime minister, had previously warned that simmering tensions around Pyongyang’s missile program could tip into “global catastrophe”.

The drills came two days after North Korea claimed it had tested a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said his country expects its northern neighbor to test-fire the type of long-range missile created to deliver a nuclear warhead to far-off places such as the United States on Saturday, an important North Korean holiday.

“We believe that sanctions and pressure are just half of the key to the problem, and the other half is dialogue and negotiation”, Wang said.

“There are real concerns North Korea might not be able to be deterred”, the official said.

North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday, triggering US warnings of a “massive military response”.

Moon had his own stark message about the situation on the Korean Peninsula: “If North Korea’s provocation doesn’t stop here, I think could fall into an uncontrollable situation”.

Other measures could include preventing North Koreans from working overseas and adding top officials to a blacklist aimed at imposing asset freezes and travel bans.

North Korea is already under highly restrictive sanctions imposed by the United Nations that are meant to force the leadership to curtail its weapons programmes.

The U.S. military is to add more launchers Thursday to a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery that it began setting up in rural South Korea earlier this year.

The United States on Friday told the UN Security Council that it intends to call a meeting on Monday to vote on a draft resolution establishing additional sanctions on North Korea for its missile and nuclear program, the US Mission to the United Nations said in a statement.

China, North Korea’s main ally and trading partner, and Russian Federation argue that sanctions alone will not resolve the North Korea crisis and are calling for talks with Pyongyang. “Especially regarding the new East policy you are pursuing and the new defense policy I am pursuing, it makes me feel that we are dreaming the same dream”, said Moon.

North Korea greeted the proposal with a threat. More confident that his nuclear weapons will protect him against retaliation, he will conduct increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks and possibly military strikes against isolated South Korean targets (the way he sank a South Korean corvette in 2010).

Seoul installed the four remaining launchers of the United States anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system in the south early yesterday.

A THAAD battery normally consists of six launchers capable of firing up to 48 interceptor missiles, but only two have been operational.

The United States has floated the idea of requiring all countries to cut economic links with North Korea to try to strong-arm Pyongyang into changing its behaviour.

“We should not give in to emotions and push Pyongyang into a corner”, Putin said after meeting the president of close USA ally, South Korea, in Russian Federation on Wednesday.

In July, it tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that appeared to bring much of the mainland USA into range.

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said that his ministry’s upward revision to 160 kilotons was based on a revised magnitude by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

“No matter how the USA and its puppets kick up a ruckus, our republic, which has a strong military and the most powerful Juche bombs and weapons, and whose territory has all turned into fortresses, and all its people armed to the teeth, will remain an eternal iron-clad citadel”, it said.

The US bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 carried a yield of 15 kilotons.