India reaches out, wants to upgrade ties with North Korea

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Zebra, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,007
    Likes Received:
    2,250
    http://idrw.org/india-reaches-out-wants-to-upgrade-ties-with-north-korea/#more-73799

    India reaches out, wants to upgrade ties with North Korea

    Published September 17, 2015 | By admin
    SOURCE: THE HINDU

    In a quiet but extremely significant diplomatic move, India signalled upgraded ties with North Korea, by sending Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju to participate in an event marking the North Korean national Independence Day in New Delhi, The Hindu has learnt.

    India’s bilateral ties with North Korea have been frosty for several decades mainly due to the latter’s close strategic ties with Pakistan.

    But last April, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un made a tentative beginning by sending his Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong to Delhi.

    Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Rijiju, nominated by the Ministry of External Affairs to represent the Indian government in the official event, said the bilateral ties were “going to change.” Mr. Rijiju posted a few photographs and a brief note on the event on his Facebook page.

    “North Korea is an independent country and a member of the United Nations and we should have good bilateral trade ties,” Mr. Rijiju said.

    Vyjayanti Raghavan, an expert on Korean Affairs at Jawaharlal Nehru University, says Mr. Rijiju has become the first Minister from the Indian side ever to address a bilateral event featuring the North Korean flag on the national Independence Day. “It’s a symbolic move and shows that India will accord higher diplomatic courtesies to Pyongyang,” she said.

    The former Foreign Secretary, Maharaj Krishna Rasgotra, also confirmed that India discouraged ministerial interaction with North Korea traditionally as a punishment for North’s ties with Pakistan. But by sending Mr. Rijiju to the North Korean embassy, India had set a new practice.

    The North Korean event was also attended by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who in July 2013, led a three-member parliamentary delegation to Pyongyang.

    Mr. Yechury says that Mr. Rijiju’s presence was a major and significant diplomatic step. “Though the Government of India showed interest in normalising ties with North Korea earlier during the UPA, I was sceptical of any follow up initiatives under the Modi government. But Mr. Rijiju convinced me that the ties between Delhi and Pyongyang are going to get better. Given the China factor and Mr. Rijiju’s origin in Arunachal Pradesh, it was a good decision to send him as the Minister for the event,” Mr. Yechury told The Hindu.

    Mr. Rijiju clarified that his presence at the event was not a hasty decision but was part of a well thought out diplomatic move.

    “We have been discussing inside the government ways and means of upgrading bilateral ties with North Korea ever since the North Korean Foreign Minister visited Delhi last April. We feel that there should not be the usual old hurdles and suspicion in bilateral ties as North Korea is an independent country and also a member of the United Nations. A relationship based on greater trade and commerce between two sides is the way ahead.”

    Mr. Yechury says that the rethink is part of a political consensus borne out of the long term interest of India. The official support to Mr. Rijiju’s participation was evident to the notable Indian guests at the event who were helped by the MEA. While Mr. Rijiju is talking of trade and commerce, the real reasons for better bilateral ties, says Yechury, lie under the surface of North Korea.

    North Korea is estimated to have one of the largest global deposits of minerals and rare earth metals necessary for India’s IT industry and electronic majors.

    Hamdullah Saeed of the Congress, ex-MP from Lakshadweep, who visited Pyongyang along with Mr. Yechury in 2013, said that past actions of Pyongyang need to be seen in the perspective of India’s growing need for rare metals in the global market which might otherwise go to other interested parties. Already, there are early signs emanating from western capitals on reorienting ties with Pyongyang.

    Diplomats are not ruling out the possibility that a dramatic change in bilateral ties like what the U.S. achieved with Iran and Cuba could possibly also occur in case of North Korea. “There is a rush for strategic resources in the countries like North Korea that were blockaded and sanctioned away from global economy. India should be an early bird in North Korea just in case North Korean economic ties with the world undergo change in near future,” Mr. Saeed said.

    Despite the tension between the North and South Koreas which often threaten each other with annihilation, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced that it will start a service targeting North Korea in near future. Dr. Raghavan says that the BBC’s move shows that the world is impatient to reach out to North Korea.

    A major factor that inhibited India’s steps towards the North Korean market in the past was the sensitivity of South Korea towards such a move. This time, India balanced it out by sending Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to Seoul to seek greater South Korean collaboration on high speed rail network. Mr. Yechury says political risk of getting friendly with North Korea has been calculated for sometime now: “the parliamentary delegation of 2011 was sent to Pyongyang after considering the South Korean sentiments.”
     
    Screambowl likes this.
  2.  
  3. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,007
    Likes Received:
    2,250
  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,203
    Likes Received:
    5,109
    Location:
    India
    Nice...even prior to this India have a few projects running in NoKo.Nothing new..but this could be reveal a well thought out political direction in the coming days..

    :popcorn:
     
  5. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,203
    Likes Received:
    5,109
    Location:
    India
    Are India and North Korea Really Upgrading Ties?
    India needs to think long and hard before upgrading ties with North Korea.

    An interesting report in The Hindu, with the headline “India reaches out, wants to upgrade ties with North Korea,” caught my eye yesterday. The report noted that India was taking a significant step forward in its relations with Pyongyang by upgrading its bilateral ties.

    India’s relations with North Korea aren’t normally in the press. They received some attention earlier this year when North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong visited New Delhi for a series of meeting. Overall, India’s relations with North Korea are cordial but limited—for a range of reasons, including North Korea’s occasional chumminess with Pakistan and South Korea’s reservations. An upgrade in relations would be a significant move in India’s eastward foreign policy. So what’s really going on?

    First, the details: The Hindu reports that India’s minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju, participated “in an event marking the North Korean national Independence Day in New Delhi.” Rijiju was, per the report, “nominated by the Ministry of External Affairs to represent the Indian government in the official event.” The minister told The Hindu that relations between India and North Korea were “going to change.” “North Korea is an independent country and a member of the United Nations and we should have good bilateral trade ties,” he said. The Hindu notes that Rijiju was careful to clarify that the decision to attend wasn’t a made in haste but is a considered diplomatic move:

    We have been discussing inside the government ways and means of upgrading bilateral ties with North Korea ever since the North Korean Foreign Minister visited Delhi last April. We feel that there should not be the usual old hurdles and suspicion in bilateral ties as North Korea is an independent country and also a member of the United Nations. A relationship based on greater trade and commerce between two sides is the way ahead.

    In addition to Rijiju, another name appears throughout the report. Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist[CPI(M)]), was in attendance as well. Yechury, in 2013, led a three-member parliamentary delegation to North Korea. Since at least the 1980s, the CPI(M) and North Korea’s ruling People’s Party have developed inter-party ties.

    It’s unclear if, as Rijiju says, India and North Korea are truly poised for some sort of major paradigm shift in their bilateral ties. Sending Rijiju, a state minister, clearly isn’t the strongest diplomatic signal from the Indian side. Sending a representative from the Ministry of External Affairs, possibly even the external affairs minister, would signal additional seriousness. Rijiju, however, is an interesting choice. He hails from Arunachal Pradesh—an Indian state claimed almost in its entirety by China—and, as I’ve noted before, has been a vocal proponent of the Indian government bolstering its position along the disputed India-China border. His attendance at the event could suggest that New Delhi is positioning itself to seize on the growing rift between Pyongyang and Beijing. Yechury notes told The Hindu as much himself: “Given the China factor and Mr. Rijiju’s origin in Arunachal Pradesh, it was a good decision to send him as the Minister for the event.”

    Of course, another possible explanation for Rijiju’s attendance could have to do with anodyne domestic political dynamics. Though the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the CPI(M) are on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, Rijiju’s presence could be tied to some sort of political quid pro quo. The BJP and CPI(M) have recently been at odds over a range of issues.

    Taking Rijiju’s statement that this is in fact a well-considered foreign policy move at face value isn’t entirely ludicrous. Though trade between India and North Korea is modest and balanced in New Delhi’s favor, North Korea is a mineral rich country and India is a major importer of minerals. Though North Korea’s lack of access to normal international financial networks makes trade tricky, New Delhi could position itself to trade goods with North Korea for in-kind payments of minerals and rare-earth metals. North Korea, despite being endowed with a treasure trove of minerals and rare earth, still hasn’t quite figured out how to capitalize on these resources. China remains the main player in the North Korean mineral market and leverages its special historical relationship with Pyongyang to invest in the country.

    However, India needs to consider that upgrading its relationship with North Korea, while potentially valuable for economic reasons, will have diplomatic costs. An “upgrade” of the sort Rijiju describes would entail a softening of India’s language on North Korea’s nuclear program. New Delhi has seen its ties with the United States, South Korea, and Japan grow massively over the past decade. Each of these states, to varying extents, treats North Korea as a global pariah, unworthy of “normal” diplomatic treatment until it at least demonstrates an interest in negotiating the future of its nuclear program in good faith. New Delhi has traditionally had a propensity to avoid letting its bilateral diplomatic relationships develop dependencies, but the era of nonalignment is far behind it now. With Narendra Modi’s energetic new take on India’s “Look East” policy—now an “Act East” policy—there is all the more reason for India to avoid offsetting its other relationships by granting Pyongyang more diplomatic attention than it deserves.

    To be fair, there are other states in Asia that regularly interact “normally” with North Korea without facing isolation or international scrutiny—Indonesia and Mongolia are two examples. India, however, seeks global leadership as a responsible stakeholder state. Upgrading ties with North Korea as it announces that its nuclear facility at Yongbyon is back to operational status and just weeks after the Korean peninsula returned from the brink of conflict does not mesh with that objective. New Delhi can’t go back to a meandering and non-aligned approach to East Asia. So far, under the Modi government, India has been clear about its burgeoning partnerships in the Asia-Pacific with Japan, Australia, South Korea, and ASEAN states. Upgrading ties with North Korea may be a manifestation of the Modi government’s “Act East” policy, but it just isn’t in line with New Delhi’s broader regional approach.

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/are-india-and-north-korea-really-upgrading-ties/
    ==

    INdia should upgrade diplomatic ties with NoKo of 2 reasons
    1) Its known where Pak gets its nukey pukes from
    2) It neighbors china.

    India should get what it wants from NoKo.
     
  6. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    758
    Location:
    Winterland
    There is much more of International Geo politics going on behind the door and India is going to help the bridge the gap between West and North Korea. It has happened in the past with Myanmar opening up to West where India acted as go between both sides and the outcome was positive for all the parties involved.
     

Share This Page