Won't allow anything threatening India's security: North Korea

VK Singh is first Indian minister to visit North Korea in 20 years even as Pyongyang reconsiders meeting US on June 12

Gen VK Singh, minister of state for external affairs, made a surprise trip to Pyongyang on Wednesday, the first ministerial visit after nearly 20 years.

Singh is the first Indian minister to visit North Korea in almost two decades.

During the unannounced visit on May 15 and 16, Mr. Singh met Vice-President Kim Yong Dae, and the Foreign and Cultural Affairs Ministers and discussed "a range of issues covering political, regional, economic, educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries", the Ministry said in a statement.

VK Singh is first Indian minister to visit North Korea in 20 years even as Pyongyang reconsiders meeting U.S. on June 12: - General VK Singh, The Junior Minister for external affairs, on Wednesday became the first Indian minister in around 2 decades, reportedly, who is all set to visit North Korea, news agencies reported the same.

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. India believed that it would pave way for lasting peace and reconciliation in the Korean peninsula and that India supported all such efforts.

"The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) side emphasised that, as a friendly country, DPRK will never allow any action that would create concerns for India's security", the External Affairs Ministry statement said.

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The visit by General Singh closely followed the presentation of credentials by the new Indian Ambassador Atul Gotsurve to Pyongyang.

Chief among the talking points, General V.K. Singh raised concerns, in line with New Delhi's previous statements, asking North Korea to address the nuclear proliferation linkages to Pakistan.

According to the NK Pro leadership tracker, Pak regularly attends events or guidance visits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with the most recent mention coming on February 2 when he went with Kim to the Kumunsan Palace of the Sun.

In March 2017, the government even issued a gazette notification instituting restrictions on any trade with North Korea other than in food and medicines.

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

In what could indicate more trade and interaction now between the two countries, the MEA said, "The two sides made a decision to explore possibilities of cooperation in the areas of mutual interest, including vocational education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, promotion of yoga and traditional medicines". The two leaders also agreed on enhancing people-to-people relations in the field of education and culture.

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