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What Happened: The Indian Minister of State for External Affairs traveled to North Korea on May 15, marking the first ministerial visit in nearly two decades, The Times of India reported May 16.

"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.

Singh highlighted the threat from nuclear proliferation, in particular India's concerns in the context of the proliferation linkages with India's neighbourhood.

In the first ministerial visit from India to North Korea in almost 20 years, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh held talks with his North Korean counterpart and a host of other leaders. He is expected to hold talks with his North Korean counterpart but a meeting with leader Kim Jong-un is not confirmed as yet.

The Pyongyang regime also cancelled high-level talks with Seoul scheduled for Wednesday over the joint military drills held between the United States and South Korea, slamming the drills as a "rude and wicked provocation".

Even as North Korea keeps the world in suspense over its proposed talks with the US and South Korea, the East Asian nation has given its assurance that it will not allow any action that will create concerns for India's security.

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India is North Korea's second largest trading partner after China.

Singh met the vice-president of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Kim Yong Dae, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Culture Minister Pak Chun Nam, among others, it said.

Despite North Korea being osctracised by most of the world for its defiance of UNSC norms on nuclear proliferation, India has maintained diplomatic ties with Pyongyang. Singh reiterated India's support for the joint peace initiative of North and South Korean leaderships, encouraging both sides to continue their efforts for peace in the peninsula.

The foreign ministry said the two sides had decided during Singh's visit to explore cooperation in vocational education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and promotion of yoga.

India has long had diplomatic relations and embassy in Pyongyang, it has limited ties to North Korea and suspended much of its bilateral trade in 2017 as President Trump was pursued a policy of "maximum pressure" to halt North Korea's drive for a nuclear weapons program.


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