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India looks to revive ties with North Korea

18 May, 2018, 18:42 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands in front of the national flags

The talks, though, are seems like keen to focus largely on bilateral ties and North Korea's nuclear programme.

In view of the rapprochement between North and South Korea and the stage being set for a summit between the United States and North Korea, India has resumed ministerial-level visits from its side to North Korea after almost 20 years.

VK Singh is first Indian minister to visit North Korea in 20 years even as Pyongyang reconsiders meeting United States on June 12: - General VK Singh, The Junior Minister for external affairs, on Wednesday became the first Indian minister in around 2 decades, reportedly, who is all set to visit North Korea, news agencies reported the same.

The Ministry of External Affairs has remained lip closed regarding the visit of the minister VK Singh, in North Korea and not much detail are available as of now regarding the same. "[Mr. Singh] highlighted the threat from nuclear proliferation, in particular India's concerns in the context of the proliferation linkages with India's neighbourhood".

The visit by General Singh closely followed the presentation of credentials by the new Indian Ambassador Atul Gotsurve to Pyongyang. The visit resulted in Pyongyang pledging not to ever create concerns for India's security.

Six way handshake at the Diaoyutai guest house in Beijing on 27 August 2003 involving dignitaries from Japan USA China North Korea Russia and South Korea
VK Singh is first Indian minister to visit North Korea in 20 years even as Pyongyang reconsiders meeting US on June 12

After the recent thaw between the US and North Korea, India seems to have changed its strategy, sending Mr. Singh on a diplomatic mission to Pyongyang.

Mr Singh's visit, at the invitation of the North Korean government, comes at a time when fresh tension has emerged between the United States and North Korea over America's decision to hold joint military exercises with South Korea.

Singh, according to the MEA, held discussions with the Vice-President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Kim Yong Dae; foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, and culture minister Pak Chun Nam. In 2017, New Delhi had even refused a request from then U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to shut down its diplomatic mission in Pyongyang altogether.

The foreign ministry said the two sides had decided during Singh's visit to explore cooperation in vocational education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and promotion of yoga. The Indian outreach took advantage of the unprecedented events in the Korean peninsula and between the USA and North Korea that has not only relaxed sanctions but promises a unique opening between the two sides. "Both sides agreed to strengthen people to people contacts through educational and cultural exchange, to mark 45 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries".

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