Russian President Vladimir Putin claims he has been aware of North Korea's nuclear arms capability as far back as the year 2001.
According to media reports Putin said he was informed of Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal during his short visit to North Korea in 2001 four years before the regime officially claimed it had nuclear capabilities.
The Russian president added he was told by the late Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader at the time, that Seoul was within range of their conventional artillery.
Putin went on to criticize the slew of sanctions imposed on the rogue state over the past decade, as being ineffective in halting North Korea's nuclear program.
He strongly urged Pyongyang and Washington resume dialogue in order to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.