After weeks of improving ties on the Korean Peninsula, capped by the dramatic image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shaking hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, things took a sudden step backwards on Wednesday.
North Korea on Wednesday said it will never allow any action that will cause security concerns for India, responding to New Delhi's worries linking Pakistan's missile technology access to Pyongyang.
DPRK ministers also gave Singh an overview of some of the recent developments in the Korean Peninsula. At that time, it was seen as the result of a request from the US, which has been driving United Nations sanctions on North Korea.
"India supports all efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy".
As the KCNA put out more photographs of Singh's programme, the external affairs ministry (MEA) broke its silence in the evening and confirmed that he was on a two-day visit to the DPRK at the invitation of the North Korean government.More news: Stage 11 from Assisi to Osimo
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In 2004, Pakistan's most famous nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, admitted to have transferred nuclear technology to North Korea and other nations, a confession that led to his detainment for five years. In a statement issued by its First Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan on Wednesday, North Korea threatened to call off the talks if the Trump administration made denuclearisation a precondition.
However, US insistence of reducing North Korean diplomatic presence in India, as well as Indian diplomatic presence in Pyongyang, had been gently rejected by the Indian establishment.
"If the U.S.is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and can not but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit", Kim Kye Gwan said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. North Korean Foreign minister Ri Su Yong had visited India on a bilateral and standalone visit from April 12 to 14, 2015 and had sought humanitarian assistance.
India, which maintained minimal diplomatic relations with the DPRK despite pressure from Washington to close its mission in Pyongyang and cut trade ties, also used the fragile improvement in North Korea's ties with the U.S. to explore possibilities of cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including vocational education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and promotion of yoga and traditional medicines. Bilateral trade between India and North Korea has declined in recent past mainly due to the latter's inability to carry on foreign trade due to financial crunch. But after Singh's visit, India and North Korea will now discuss future cooperation in education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, yoga and traditional medicines. India had been North Korea's second biggest trade partner after China.