Putin says North Korea sanctions are 'useless' and 'ineffective'

The US has warned of imposing "incremental" sanctions

New sanctions against North Korea would be "useless" and "ineffective", Vladimir Putin has said.

The Russian president said that imposing tougher sanctions on the regime of Kim Jong Un over its nuclear missile programme would not change the leadership in Pyongyang, but could lead to large-scale human suffering.

Speaking after a summit in China, Mr Putin, while condemning North Korea's actions as "provocative", also warned against further ramping up military hysteria, saying it could lead to "global catastrophe."

His comments followed a terse UN Security Council meeting on Monday at which the US warned the approach of imposing "incremental" sanctions against the secretive nation had not worked.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the US will come up with a new UN sanctions resolution and aims to put it to a vote next Monday.

On Sunday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that the US was considering stopping all trade with countries that do business with North Korea, prompting a stern response from China.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday any such move would be unfair and unacceptable but added on Tuesday that the use of military force to resolve issues on the Korean peninsula was never an option.

Members of the Japanese parliament and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel have also demanded tougher UN sanctions on North Korea.

Mr Putin's comments came after North Korea was seen moving what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile towards its west coast, a report said.

Analysts say it is most likely North Korea will carry out its next 'provocative' act on or around September 9th when the country celebrates its founding day.

On Tuesday, the South Korean navy held live-fire drills in the Sea of Japan.

These involved the 2,500-ton frigate Gangwon, a 1,000-ton patrol ship and 400-ton guided missile vessels in a show of force that aimed to deter the North.

South Korea has also been in discussions with the US about deploying aircraft carriers and bombers to the Korean Peninsula.

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley | File photo

It was agreed on Monday that the country could scrap a warhead weight limit on its missiles, meaning it could hit back at Pyongyang with greater force.

North Korea alarmed the region with its most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday, detonating what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on a long-range missile.

The US responded by saying that North Korea leader Kim Jong Un was "begging for war".

Ms Haley said her country did not want a conflict with the Pyongyang regime but its patience was "not unlimited".

Speaking at the Security Council meeting, Ms Haley said "enough is enough", warning the organisation that its approach of imposing "incremental" sanctions against North Korea had not worked.

Russian's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that in the event that sanctions on North Korea were ramped up, his country would be relatively unaffected as Russia "only supply oil products there (and) the volumes are negligible, close to zero".