See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

India reaches out to North Korea

India sends minister to Pyongyang for the first time in two decades.


Written by

Updated: May 17, 2018

India has apparently changed its strategy with North Korea – sending a minister on a diplomatic mission to Pyongyang for the first time in two decades.

Minister of state for foreign affairs VK Singh arrived in Pyongyang on May 15 for a two-day official visit at the invitation of the North Korean government, the Indian media reported quoting the official Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

The development comes at a time when North Korea has criticised Washington’s approach towards Pyongyang – even threatening to pull out of the Singapore summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

Singh met Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Vice President Kim Yong Dae, and the foreign and culture ministers for discussions on “a range of issues covering political, regional, economic, educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries”, India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

He also used the occasion to raise India’s concerns about the long-standing links between the nuclear and missile programmes of North Korea and Pakistan. Without naming Pakistan, the statement said Singh “highlighted the threat from nuclear proliferation, in particular India’s concerns in the context of the proliferation linkages with India’s neighbourhood”.

The statement added, “The DPRK side emphasized that as a friendly country DPRK will never allow any action that would create concerns for India’s security.”

Singh’s visit is significant as the Indian government had issued a notification in March last year imposing strict restrictions on trade with North Korea, other than essential items such as food and medicines. The trip also followed India’s new envoy to North Korea, Atul Gotsurve, taking up his assignment.

India has always had diplomatic ties with Pyongyang, although its trade ties were impacted after sanctions were imposed by the United States and the United Nations following multiple nuclear tests by North Korea.

Multiple media reports also said New Delhi had refused a request from former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to shut down its diplomatic mission in Pyongyang.

Before the restrictions were imposed last year, India was North Korea’s second largest trading partner after China. The restrictions had completely banned the imports of coal, minerals and metals from North Korea.

The visit by Singh, and the secrecy surrounding it suggests that India is trying to quietly rebuild ties with the reclusive regime.

 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Lamat R Hasan
About the Author: Lamat is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

US, NK head toward discussions on nuclear inspections

Summit talks, meetings on nuclear inspections to take place soon. With the leaders of US and North Korea expected to meet soon for a second summit, the two countries are set to restart negotiations on nuclear inspections. US President Donald Trump said Monday that the venue of his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would be announced in “a pretty short period of time.” Trump made the comments after talks with President Moon Jae-in in New York, during which Moon conveyed Kim’s proposals to Trump including the date and location for a second summit. Moon’s meeting with Trump follows his three-day trip to North Korea las


By The Korea Herald
September 26, 2018

Diplomacy

Ending Rohingya Crisis: Bangladesh tables 3 proposals at UN meeting

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday made three recommendations for solving the Rohingya crisis at its root while at the UN meeting in New York. According to her second recommendation, Myanmar must create a conducive environment by building trust and guaranteeing protection, rights and pathway to citizenship for all Rohingyas. If needed, it should create a “safe zone” inside the country to protect all civilians. Her third recommendation says atrocious crimes against Rohingyas in Myanmar should be prevented by bringing accountability and justice, particularly in the light of recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Human Rights Council. The PM was speaking at a high-level event on the “Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation” at the UN headquarters in New York. “In Bangladesh, now we’re faced with the largest forced mov


By Daily Star
September 25, 2018

Diplomacy

Moon, Trump discuss ‘corresponding measures’ for NK denucelarization

South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in New York on Sunday for a bilateral summit with US President Donald Trump that is partly aimed at brokering a second US-North Korea summit. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump on Monday discussed possible ways to reward North Korea for its denuclearization measures that will apparently include a second US-North Korea summit. “The leaders agreed to continue communicating closely about corresponding measures,” said Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. In their bilateral summit held in New York, the leaders of South K


By The Korea Herald
September 25, 2018

Diplomacy

New airport construction adds to China’s influence in the Maldives

Maldives airport opened a new runway constructed by China this week, a sign of Beijing’s growing influence on the island nation. Maldives airport opened its newly developed Code F runway at the Velana International Airport on Tuesday after two years of construction by Chinese firms. According to Chinese state media, the new runway is a milestone project of the Belt and Road Initiative. The contract for the airport expansion, including the development of the fuel farm, a cargo terminal, and the new runway, was signed between China and the Maldives in 2014, Xinhua News Agency reported. Constructed by Beijing Urban Construction Group, a large international construction group based in China, the new runway is 3,400 meters long and 60 meters wide. It is the latest push by China to gain influence over the politically troubled nation. Earlier this year, Maldivian President Abdulla Y


By Cod Satrusayang
September 20, 2018

Diplomacy

Kim vows to visit Seoul, dismantle nuke, missile sites

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday pledged to visit Seoul and reaffirmed commitment to giving up his country’s nuclear program. The Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018 signed by the two l


By The Korea Herald
September 20, 2018

Diplomacy

El Salvador ups pressure on Taiwan relations

Prosecutors in El Salvador to investigate the alleged graft of some $10 million in funds donated by Taiwan. El Salvador announced it would sever ties with Taiwan and switch its allegiance to Beijing on 21th August. The loss of the Central American country reduces the number of Taiwan’s formal diplomatic allies to just 17. Now the current president of El Salvador, Sanchez Ceren, is accused that he won the election by relying on partial fund which was donated by Taiwan in 2014. Prosecutor Douglas Melendez said in a TV interview that Taiwan gave $38 million to El Salvador for various projects, but the fund was used in a partisan campaign by Mauricio Funes in election won by current President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the presidential candidate of the FMLN party in 2014. The FMLN party calling the accusations “baseless” and accusing Melendez of “attacking our candidate and o


By Asia News Network
September 20, 2018