India is Reaching Out to North Korea, VK Singh is the First Indian Minister to Visit a Country in 20 Years: At a time when North Korea is engaging by the international community, India has to reach out to Pyongyang, with the first minister-level visit to the country in 20 years coming on May 15th and 16th, Korean Central News Agency reports on Wednesday.
India is Reaching Out to North Korea, VK Singh is the First Indian Minister to Visit a Country in 20 Years
Hours later, the Ministry of External Affairs confirming Minister of State for the External Affairs V K Singh’s official visit.
The last minister to visit Pyongyang was Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, then Minister of State for I&B, to attend the sixth Pyongyang Film Festival in the year September 1998.
There is no meeting between V K Singh and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and he is holding discussions with four leaders in the North Korean establishment.
Vice President of Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Yong Dae, Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, Culture minister Pak Chun Nam, and Vice Foreign minister Choe Hui Chol.
They are discussing a broad range of issues covering political, regional, economic, educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
The most important element from the Indian perspective being North Korea’s assurance that it will never allow any action that will create concerns for India’s security.
It is in the context of the North Korea nuclear programme having links with Pakistan’s nuclear plan, developed by disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan.
In a statement, the MEA says, Minister of State highlighting the threat from nuclear proliferation, in particular, India’s concerns in the context of the proliferation linkages with India’s neighborhood.
The DPRK of North Korean side emphasizes that as a friendly country DPRK will never allow any action that will create concerns for India’s security. Besides bilateral discussions, the MEA says the North Korean side provides an overview of some recent developments in the Korean Peninsula.
Minister of State (Singh) reiterating India’s support to the joint peace initiative of DPRK and Republic of Korea leadership, encouraging both sides for their efforts towards the establishment of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, the statement says, without any reference to the US-North Korean engagement.
The development is coming at a time when North Korea has criticised the US approach towards Pyongyang and has lashed out at the US-South Korean military exercises.
It is perceived as a fresh irritant, ahead of the scheduled summit between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.
It comes after a series of provocative statements by US officials, especially NSA John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the last few days.
India’s outreach to Pyongyang comes in the wake of global efforts to curb the nuclear proliferation threats emerging from North Korea.
On March 9, a day after US President Donald Trump agreed to meet Kim Jong Un, India has welcomed the development and said it supports all efforts to bring on peace and stability in a Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy.
India is supporting all efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula through the dialogue and diplomacy.
We hope that such engagement will help in reducing tension and pave the way for lasting peace and reconciliation in the Korean Peninsula.
We have said before; we also believe that any solution to the issues in the Korean Peninsula must also take into an account and address concerns about the proliferation linkages of DPRK’s nuclear and missile programme.
MEA’s official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has said, about links between Pakistan’s nuclear programme and the North Korean nuclear and missile programme.
India has always maintained that Pakistan’s nuclear scientist A Q Khan has helped North Korea in developing the Nuclear Programmes.
In the last few years, especially since Trump’s administration came to the office, New Delhi has played along with Washington on the sanctions imposed on North Korea.
However, US insistence on reducing North Korean diplomatic presence in India, as well as Indian diplomatic presence in Pyongyang, has gently rejected by the Indian establishment.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said publicly, with then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by his side in the year October 2017, that embassies of some of US’ friendly countries should remain there so that some channels of communication remain open.
India has, however, always maintaining diplomatic and trade relationship with North Korea. North Korean Foreign minister Ri Su Yong had visited India on a bilateral and standalone visit from the year April 12th to 14th, 2015 and had sought humanitarian assistance.
On Wednesday, the MEA says, The two sides decided to explore possibilities of cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as vocational education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, promotion of Yoga and traditional medicines.
Both sides agreed to strengthen people-to-people contacts through the educational and cultural exchange, to mark 45 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
India and North Korea established formal diplomatic relations on December 10, 1973, and this year marks the 45th year of establishment of diplomatic relations.
Bilateral trade between India and North Korea has declined in recent past mainly due to the latter’s inability to carry on foreign trade due to financial crunch. India had been North Korea’s second biggest trade partner after China.
So, these are the points to describe India reaches out to North Korea, VK Singh is the first Indian minister to visit a country in 20 years.
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