The rocket launch by North Korea has put into the deep freeze India’s plans to send a business delegation to Pyongyang in March to explore business opportunities in the reclusive nation, which was showing signs of opening up its economy under Kim Jong-un.
The business delegation led by a senior official was to leave for Pyongyang in October this year. But a hectic diplomatic season put paid to the move.
Sensing that an opportunity still awaited businessmen, the trip was tentatively scheduled for March because of the bitter winter in between. But sources here said New Delhi would prefer for the time being to stay away from North Korea as the rocket launch violates Security Council Resolution 1874.
India had witnessed the conditions in North Korea when some of its officials accompanied the U.N. team for the food aid programme. India had contributed $1 million to the cause and was likely to allocate a similar amount around the time when its official-led team of businesspersons was to visit North Korea.
The plan to send a delegation to look for trade opportunities waswelcomed by the India-North Korea Friendship Association whose chief Sumit Chopra called the initiative timely. But there was no response to queries from the embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The postponement of the visit should help cement ties with South Korea which had been looking at the planned visit with apprehension. India has a lot of pending business with Seoul especially in the areas of defence and civil nuclear. In fact a South Korean Minister Ju-Ho Lee is in town to promote exchanges in the science and technology sector.
At the same time, sources said Pyongyang need not feel worried because “India does not take sides and hopes North Korea will move to a nuclear free peninsula and sort out its nuclear issues through six party talks”. India has described the launch as “unwarranted”.
Puts March business visit on hold Will help cement ties with S. Korea
Puts March business visit on hold
Will help cement ties with S. Korea