The US-North Korea Summit that saw Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un sign off on a joint statement that, among other things, called for the 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean Peninsula was largely received warmly across the globe.
Iran — with whom the US recently tore up a comprehensive nuclear agreement — unsurprisingly took a dim view of events, with government spokesperson Mohammad Baqer Nobakht saying, "This person (Trump) is not a 'wise representative' of the US... It is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning home."
Equally unsurprisingly, India took positive note of developments over in Singapore. A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday read:
"India welcomes the United States-DPRK Summit held in Singapore. This is a positive development. India has always supported all efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy. We hope that the outcomes of the US-DPRK Summit will be implemented, thus paving the way for lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.
We also hope that the resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue will take into account and address our concerns about proliferation linkages extending to India’s neighbourhood."
It's the second paragraph of this brief statement that is most indicative and could explain what Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh's Pyongyang visit, roughly a month ago, may have been about. That Pakistan and North Korea share deep security linkages is an open secret, as is the fact that there has been nuclear proliferation between the two countries in the past.
In fact, India has alluded to the Pyongyang-Islamabad nuclear nexus in recent MEA statements following missile or nuclear tests by North Korea. Relevant excerpts follow:
9 September, 2016: "India remains concerned about the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies which has adversely impacted India's national security" (emphasis added).
7 July, 2017: "DPRK's continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its proliferation links pose a grave threat to international peace and stability. They have also adversely impacted India's national security... We also urge the international community to work together to hold accountable all those parties that have supported these programmes" (emphasis added).
3 September, 2017: "India also remains concerned about the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies which has adversely impacted India’s national security" (emphasis added).
New Delhi will most likely watch future developments over on the Korean Peninsula closely with one eye firmly on the end of the North Korea-Pakistan nuclear nexus.
Updated Date: Jun 13, 2018 10:41 AM