Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

India looks to revive ties with North Korea

India looks to revive ties with North Korea

The meeting comes soon after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea for preparatory talks ahead of the Trump-Kim Summit. He also highlighted the threat from nuclear proliferation, in particular India's concerns in the context of proliferation linkages with the country's neighbourhood.

The reference seemed to be to reports for the past more than two decades of alleged clandestine nuclear and missile technology links between North Korea and Pakistan.

Singh reiterated India's support to the joint peace initiative of North Korea and South Korea and encouraged both sides to seeking peace and prosperity in the Korean Peninsula. India had said that its trade with North Korea was in any case "minimal" and that it has a "small" embassy in Pyongyang. In 2015, North Korean foreign minister Ri Su Yong had visited New Delhi to hold talks with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

India has sent a government minister to North Korea for the first time in almost two decades for talks on political and regional issues, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday, following signs of a thaw on the Korean peninsula.

As for China, the spokesperson said Seoul is cooperating with Beijing at every level, in order for Beijing to continue its constructive role on issues concerning the Korean Peninsula. At that time, it was seen as the result of a request from the US, which has been driving United Nations sanctions on North Korea. But after Singh's visit, India and North Korea will now discuss future cooperation in education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, yoga and traditional medicines. From left, Mitoji Yabunaka, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau; James Kelly, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs; Wang Yi, Chinese vice foreign minister; Kim Yong-il, North Korean vice foreign minister; Alexander Losyukov, Russian deputy foreign minister; and Lee Soo Hyuck, South Korean deputy foreign minister.

It may be recalled that in October previous year, India had made it clear that it would not shut its embassy in North Korea.

The efforts reflect the DPRK's willingness to promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and build mutual trust with relevant parties, as well as its sincerity to promote a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue, he said. Pyongyang's proposed talks with the United States on abandoning its nuclear weapons programme, however, looked uncertain on Wednesday with North Korean officers reportedly claiming the talks may be called off.

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