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VK Singh in Pyongyang to Meet Leadership as North Korea Issues Fresh Threat Against US

General VK Singh raised concerns, in line with New Delhi's previous statements, wherein the Minister of External Affairs has asked North Korea to address the linkages to Pakistan. India points to the alleged role of Pakistan's AQ Khan in helping North Korea develop its nuclear programme.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:May 16, 2018, 6:12 PM IST
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VK Singh in Pyongyang to Meet Leadership as North Korea Issues Fresh Threat Against US
MoS External Affairs VK Singh meeting leaders in North Korea.
New Delhi: Minister of State external affairs VK Singh met the top leadership of North Korea. He reached Pyongyang on Wednesday and held talks with his counterpart. There is no confirmation yet on whether Singh will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

General VK Singh reached Pyongyang on Wednesday and held discussions with the Kim Yong Dae, Vice President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Ri Yong Ho, Foreign Minister, Pak Chun Nam, Minister of Culture and Choe Hui Chol, Vice Foreign Minister of DPRK on a range of issues covering political, regional, economic, educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

He raised concerns, in line with New Delhi's previous statements, wherein the Minister of External Affairs has asked North Korea to address the linkages to Pakistan. India points to the alleged role of Pakistan's AQ Khan in helping North Korea develop its nuclear programme.

"MoS reiterated India’s support to the joint peace initiative of DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and Republic of Korea (ROK) leadership, encouraging both sides for their efforts towards establishment of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. MoS highlighted the threat from nuclear proliferation, in particular, India’s concerns in the context of the proliferation linkages with India’s neighbourhood. The DPRK side emphasized that as a friendly country DPRK will never allow any action that would create concerns for India’s security," said an MEA statement.

In response, North Korea, on Wednesday said that "as a friendly country, DPRK will never allow any action that would create concerns for India’s security.”

The visit comes as North Korea threatened to suspend talks with the United States of America if the talks were based on benefits for just one side. North Korea further stated that the US was taking its intention of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula as a sign of weakness. Last month, when Kim Jong-un had visited South Korea to meet President Moon Jae-in, India had welcomed the move hoping that it would pave way for lasting peace and reconciliation in the Korean peninsula and that India supports all efforts to bring about peace and stability in the peninsula.

In 2015, North Korean foreign minister Ri Su Yong had visited New Delhi to hold talks with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. India has time and again condemned North Korea's nuclear ambitions. "Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its proliferation links pose a grave threat to international peace and stability," a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs had said last year when North Korea had launched its International Ballistic Missile.

In April last year, India had sided with the United Nations by banning all trade with North Korea, except for food and medicine. Despite the ban on trade, Swaraj had made it clear that India would not put an end to its diplomatic ties with North Korea. During former US secretary Rex Tillerson’s visit to India in October last year, Swaraj said that while India’s embassy in Pyongyang is very small, it still was very much present.

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