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In a first, DPRK Foreign Minister on India visit

External Affiars Minister Sushma Swaraj with Foreign Minister of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Ri Su Yongin ahead of talks in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty  

In a significant diplomatic engagement between India and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on Monday. This is the first ever visit at the Foreign Minister level from North Korea to India. Mr. Yong is here on a three day visit beginning Sunday on the invitation of Ms. Swaraj.

“EAM conveyed to her Korean counterpart the significance of peace and stability in the Korean peninsula for India’s Act East policy,” External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. 

Officials said that the visiting Minister updated the Indian side on his country’s nuclear programme which has resulted in deep apprehensions in the international community.

India had on several occasions in the past extended humanitarian assistance to DPRK, which is under severe sanctions by the UN and global community, and in 2011 provided food assistance worth USD one million through the World Food Programme. DPRK has also been battered by natural calamities resulting in severe food shortages.

Mr. Yong while expressing his country’s appreciation for the humanitarian assistance sought additional assistance from India. Ms. Swaraj agreed to positively consider DPRK’s request, officials said.

The timing of the visit is significant as it comes just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to China and South Korea which share a curious relationship with DPRK. While China has considerable influence, South Korea is a rival. 

In addition to Ms. Swaraj, Mr. Yong also called on Vice President Hamid Ansari.

 


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 5:22:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/north-korea-ministers-visits-india-for-the-first-time/article7098942.ece

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