Current Affairs

India North Korea



  • Relations between the two countries extends back to 48 CE, when Queen Suro, or Princess Heo Hwang-ok, travelled from the kingdom of Ayodhya in North India to Korea.
  • A famous Korean visitor to India was Hyecho, a Korean Buddhist monk from Silla, one of the three Korean kingdoms of the period.


  • India is one of North Korea’s biggest trade partners(Trade has grown in 2013 to six times than in 2000).India’s primary export to North Korea is refined petroleum products while silver and auto parts are the main components of its imports from North Korea.
  • India is a major food aid provider (In 2011, India provided $1 million in emergency aid through the World Food Program).
  • Increasing no. of North Koreans are receiving scientific and compute training in India under ITEC program.


  • India strongly supported UN resolutions and military operations against North Korea during the Korean War but didn’t support military assistance to South Korea. However, India has said that it wants the “reunification” of Korea.
  • Asia and parts of South-East Asia. Much depends on how well [new North Korean leader] Kim Jong-Un manages to hold power, the equations between him and the military and between him and his family members who also wield power. If there is a military revolt, usurping of power by some group or the other, it can have major repercussions.
  • India is a critic of North Korea’s nuclear proliferation record and has also voiced concerns over its military relationship with arch-rival Pakistan and North Korea’s support towards Pakistan on the kashmir issue. India has repeatedly condemned North Korean nuclear tests and views its nuclear program as a threat to regional security.


  • After the Korean War, India again played an important role as the chair of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in the Korean peninsula.
  • India established consular relations with North Korea in 1962 and in 1973, established full diplomatic relations with it.
  • In April 23, 2015 North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong visited New Delhi, capital of the Republic of India for talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on North Korea’s nuclear program and to request additional humanitarian assistance but no agreement was reached because of the recent North Korean statement in support of Pakistan.


  • What happens in North Korea is of great importance to India – and it all has to do with China.
  • New Delhi has not historically played the role of an intermediary actor between North Korea and its neighbors, but if Ri’s visit truly included a briefing on the North’s nuclear weapons program, it is likely that India could convey this information to other Northeast Asian states.
  • For New Delhi, which recently declared its intention to turn its decades-old “Look East” policy into an “Act East” policy, increasing its engagement with Pyongyang is, in many ways, both strategic and calculated.

Examine the thorny issues in India North Korea relations?How these can be weeded out?

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