Throughout the week, South Korean officials have warned the North could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile, in defiance of United Nations (UN) sanctions and amid an escalating standoff with the United States (US).
Sunday's test of what North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb was its largest by far. The two countries have been at loggerheads over South Korea's decision to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which has a powerful radar that can probe deep into China.
Dozens of people have been injured in clashes between South Korean protesters and police as the U.S. military added more launchers to the missile-defence system it installed in a southern town to handle North Korean threats. "It doesn't seem much time is left before North Korea achieves its complete nuclear armament", the prime minister told a meeting of defense ministers in Seoul Thursday.
Georgy Kunadze, a former Russian ambassador to South Korea, said at a time when the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is preoccupied with the North Korea situation, Russia can divert attention away from the Syria and Ukraine issues, over which Moscow and Washington have been at odds.
Moon and Putin met on the sidelines of the economic summit Wednesday, where the South Korean leader tried to persuade his Russian counterpart to agree to banning oil exports to North Korea.
Chinese media outlets have also attacked development, with one daily claiming that THAAD will become a "cancer that damages regional security" along with North Korea's nuclear program. The liberal Moon took office in May calling for diplomacy with Pyongyang but the escalation in weapons tests has been the North's only response.
Over the weekend, North Korea's regime carried out a nuclear test, which called for worldwide condemnation.
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Russia has initiated legal action against the United States over Washington's seizure of Russian diplomatic posts on American soil.
Any move towards relaxing the non-nuclear principles, however, is unlikely to lead to a home-made atomic bomb, despite Japan's technical abilities, say experts.
Russian Federation has rebuffed United States calls for new UN sanctions while Washington has promised its allies advanced weaponry. "Is it inevitable? Nothing is inevitable", said Mr Trump.
This was the 19th meeting between Abe and Putin.
"I personally think if this had to be implemented it would have to be temporary, done to a limited degree, or run as a trial", said Lu Chao, a North Korea expert at China's Liaoning Provincial Institute of Social Science.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will meet Putin in Vladivostok on Thursday, said before his departure from Japan that "we must make North Korea understand there is no bright future for the country if it pursues the current path".
North Korea has previously marked key dates with displays of military power, but now its tests appear to be driven by the need to improve missile capabilities.