Putin: Korea conflict would be worse than Chernobyl

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was very worried about the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula and said any conflict there could cause greater devastation than the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Speaking in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Germany he urged "everyone to calm down" and praised the US for postponing a planned missile strike over the weekend.

I would make no secret about it, we are worried about the escalation on the Korean peninsula, because we are neighbours.

And if, God forbid,something happens, Chernobyl which we all know a lot about, may seem like a child's fairy tale. Is there such a threat or not? I think there is, I would urge everyone to calm down... and start to resolve the problems that have piled up for many years there at the negotiating table.

I think we should all thank the US leadership for this step. I hope it will be noticed by our North Korean partners, that certain conclusions will be drawn, everyone will calm down and start joint work to ease the situation.