VK Singh becomes first Indian minister in two decades to reach North Korea; bilateral talks on agenda

Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs General (Retd.) Vijay Kumar Singh on Wednesday reached North Koreas capital Pyongyang. Singh became the first Indian minister in the last two decades to visit the country, according to Reuters. Singhs visit to Pyongyang comes just ahead of a scheduled meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12. Singh went to North Korea via China. Ministry of External Affairs has remained close-mouthed on the visit. However, it is believed that the talks would focus largely on improving bilateral ties and on Pyongyangs nuclear programme. According to Reuters, Singh travelled to China and then went to North Korea. He is likely to hold bilateral talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan. However, it is not yet clear whether Singh would meet Kim or not. Amid Singhs visit, North Korea on Wednesday launched a fresh attack against the United States. Pyongyang put the next month scheduled meeting between Kim and Trump into doubt saying, it may reconsider if the US insists on pursuing a one-sided de-nuclearisation deal. As per reports of Pyongyangs official KCNA news agency, North Korea had called off high-level talks with South Korea in the first sign of trouble. The news agency also cleared that the fate of bilateral meeting between Washington and Pyongyang would be clear if the US spoke of a Libya-style de-nuclearisation for North Korea. 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 cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit, Kim Kye Gwan, Vice-Foreign Minister of North Korea said. The North Korean minister also slammed U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Bolton had earlier asked Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in a deal like Libyas abandonment of its arms and ammunition of mass destruction. Earlier, when Bolton used to work under Bush administration, Pyongyang had called him as Human scum and bloodsucker. We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him, Kim told KCNA news agency. Pyongyang also criticised Washington for conducting military drills with Seoul.