Seoul: Mr Moon said he feared dictator Kim Jong-un’s “provocative actions” would continue to escalate and asked the Russian President for help to resolve the conflict.
The two leaders spoke at an economic summit in Russia amid speculation North Korea is planning a long-range missile launch in the coming weeks. It comes after the South Korean military launched dramatic naval war games in a show of strength directed at its neighbour.
The hermit nation carried out massive live-fire drills on Wednesday as Kim Jong-un ramped up ballistic missile testing by firing a missile over Japan last week.
South Korea is also considering bringing in weapons from the US to protect itself from an attack by the North. Mr Moon has long advocated peace talks with North Korea in an attempt to de-escalate hostilities between the two countries.
However, he has now taken a harder line, saying “now is not the time” for talks and advocating stronger UN sanctions against the hermit dictatorship.
These could include banning textile exports, stopping supplies of oil to the government and barring its airline from flying. US ambassador Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have also called for sanctions.
Mr Moon advocated dialogue with North Korea during his run for president earlier this year, but has reversed his position as there has been no change in the rapid pace of North Korea’s ballistic missile testing since he took office.
However, Mr Putin is less enthusiastic at the prospect of fresh sanctions. He said: “The North Korean Government is not going to change their policy, whereas millions of people will suffer.”