India rejects charge on institute’s ties with North Korea

A U.N. panel has reportedly said that North Korean scientists benefited from courses in India

Updated - October 18, 2016 03:02 pm IST

Published - June 24, 2016 01:31 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Strongly rejecting findings of a U.N. panel on North Korea cited by Al Jazeera , the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the reports were “baseless and without any merit” and that India was fully aware of its “obligations” under the U.N. Charter.

The comments from the MEA came within days of publication of an article in the Qatar-based media outlet, which suggested that North Korean scientists benefited from the courses taught at the Dehradun-based CSSTEAP (Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and Pacific). The MEA observed that the article contained “insinuation regarding India’s assistance to North Korea.”

“The U.N. Panel of Experts that deals with U.N. Sanctions on DPRK has made references in its report to DPRK’s participation in courses in the Dehradun-based Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific which ‘could’ have implications for its proscribed activities,” said Vikas Swarup, MEA spokesperson, in a statement to the media, and added, “the report is subjective and based on the limited understanding of the ‘expert(s) who have authored it.”

‘General topics’

“The topics covered in the courses offered by CSSTEAP are very general and cover basic principles in the respective areas. The course material offered to the participants is available in open-source,” Mr. Swarup said, emphasising that the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs was associated with the centre. CSSTEAP was set up on November 1, 1995 and has since then trained a number of North Koreans among a large body of international students.

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