Indian minister holds talks in North Korea, first trip in 20 years


The security council also urged North Korea to abide by the agreements reached between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their summit last month, where they agreed to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

Junior external affairs minister V.K. Singh is on a two-day trip to North Korea in what is the first ministerial visit from India to the DPRK since 1998. He also highlighted the threat from nuclear proliferation, in particular India's concerns in the context of proliferation linkages with the country's neighbourhood.

Singh is said to have reiterated India's support to the joint peace initiative of the DPRK and the Republic of Korea leadership, encouraging both sides to establish peace and prosperity in the Korean Peninsula. "North Korea acted as an initiator [of reconciliation], which fact deserves definite approval", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted as saying during his ongoing visit to France.

"Welcoming the friendship group's visit to China, Xi Jinping said that China is attaching very importance to the work to propel the traditional friendship between the two countries sealed in blood to a higher stage as required by the new era", the Korean Central News Agency said in an English report".

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.

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Lu's statements expressed China's stance on the suspension on Wednesday by the DPRK of the inter-Korean meetings due to the development of the military operation Max Thunder between Seoul and Washington.

After the recent thaw between the USA and North Korea, India seems to have changed its strategy, sending Mr. Singh on a diplomatic mission to Pyongyang.

The National Security Council, chaired by security adviser Chung Eui-yong, said South Korea will "closely mediate using multiple communication channels with the USA and North Korea so that the summit can proceed successfully".

The US, however, said it is proceeding with the preparations for the summit. Pyongyang's proposed talks with the U.S. on abandoning its nuclear weapons programme, however, looked uncertain on Wednesday with North Korean officers reportedly claiming the talks may be called off.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the parliament that North Korea and the United States had differences of opinion over how to achieve denuclearisation.