North Korean officials visit China to learn about economic reform

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Ahead of his 15-16 May visit, New Indian Ambassador Atul Malhari Gotsurve presented his credentials to the President of the North Korean Parliament Kim Yong Nam, who is also the ceremonial head of state.

The statements, combined with joint military drills by South Korean and US warplanes, mark a dramatic reversal in tone from recent months when both sides embraced efforts to negotiate. "The North Korean side emphasised that as a friendly country, it will never allow any action that would create concerns for India's security", the statement said.

According to the NK Pro leadership tracker, Mr Pak regularly attends events or guidance visits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with the most recent mention coming on Feb 2 when he went with the young leader to the Kumunsan Palace of the Sun.

The Indian outreach to North Korea comes at a time when old certainties are being challenged everywhere in the world, leading to multiple engagements by all relevant powers.

"India supports all efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy".

China's foreign minister says the United States should seek the middle ground in negotiations with North Korea for achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. We hope that such engagement will help in reducing tension and pave the way for lasting peace and reconciliation in the Korean Peninsula.

Foreign Minister Spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that the parties must express sincerity, have good will and guarantee the conditions of the meeting scheduled for June between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

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. India had come under some pressure from the Trump administration in its initial days about reducing its engagement with North Korea.

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. The two leaders also agreed on enhancing people-to-people relations in the field of education and culture.

India and North Korea established formal diplomatic relations on December 10, 1973 and this year marks the 45th year of establishment of diplomatic relations. The US, armed with reports that said India may have "unwittingly" contributed North Korea's rogue behaviour, lobbied with New Delhi to close down its mission and further reduce contacts. 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.

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