India looks to revive ties with North Korea

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"We support the improvement of North-South (Korean) relations, the promotion of dialogue between North Korea and the USA, denuclearisation on the peninsula and North Korea's development of its economy", Mr Xi was quoted as saying by state broadcaster CCTV.

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. The only real sign of movement around the building seems to be the flag fluttering weakly on the roof, which is also the only visible indicator of a North Korean presence.

According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, Singh held discussions with Vice President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Dae, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Minister of Culture Pak Chun Nam and Vice Foreign Minister Choe Hui Chol "on a range of issues covering political, regional, economic, educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries".

The Indian outreach to North Korea comes at a time when old certainties are being challenged everywhere in the world, leading to multiple engagements by all relevant powers. Mr. Singh raised the issue of North Korean links with Pakistan.

North Korean leader Kim is set to hold an unprecedented summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12, with denuclearization likely to top the agenda.

In his meeting with Xi last week, Kim registered his desire for Chinese support in the talks, particularly his call for a "phased and synchronous" approach to denuclearisation, as opposed to the US' demand for an immediate end to its nuclear programme, reported Associated Press.

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In 2004, Pakistan's most famous nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, admitted to have transferred nuclear technology to North Korea and other nations, a confession that led to his detainment for five years.

In April a year ago, India had sided with the United Nations by banning all trade with North Korea, except for food and medicine.

China called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), South Korea and the United States today to make joint efforts to preserve détente on the peninsula and prevent another alarming crisis.

On Wednesday, the MEA said, "The two sides made a decision to explore possibilities of cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including vocational education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, promotion of Yoga and traditional medicines".

India has, however, always maintained diplomatic and trade relationship with North Korea. "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". 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.

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