The ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Thursday discarded the article titled ‘India’s embarrassing North Korean connection’ by Nilanjana Bhowmick in Al Jazeera, a Doha-based broadcaster, saying the insinuation regarding New Delhi’s assistance to North Korea’s (DPRK’s) UN proscribed activities is ‘baseless and without any merit.’
MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the UN Panel of Experts that deals with the UN sanctions on North Korea has made references in its report to the country’s participation in courses in the Dehradun-based Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) which ‘could’ have implications for its proscribed activities.
“The report is subjective and based on the limited understanding of the expert(s) who have authored it. India has made its position clear in this regard to the UN Security Council. The topics covered in the courses offered by CSSTEAP are very general and cover basic principles in the respective areas,” he said.
“The course material offered to the participants is available in open-source. We believe that these courses are unlikely to contribute in any way to a violation of the various UN sanctions pertaining to DPRK. Further, a representative of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA) is a Permanent Observer in the Governing Board of the Centre. The Advisory Committee of the Centre, which evaluates and reviews the course curriculum and criterion for the selection of candidates, is chaired by the Director of UN-OOSA,” he added.
Swarup further said India is fully aware of its obligations under the UN Charter and has been exemplary in its implementation of UN sanctions including those related to North Korea.
“As a country that has been a victim of proliferation in its extended neighbourhood, it is ridiculous to suggest that India has in any way aided the violation of UN sanctions on DPRK,” he said.