India will retain North Korea diplomatic mission, Sushma tells Tillerson | india-news | Hindustan Times
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India will retain North Korea diplomatic mission, Sushma tells Tillerson

Swaraj broached the topic of the Indian mission in North Korea and India’s ‘diminishing ’ trade with Iran, even before any specific aspect of Delhi- Pyongyang ties were brought up by the American side.

india Updated: Oct 25, 2017 22:55 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shake hands after their joint press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shake hands after their joint press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

India on Wednesday told visiting US state secretary Rex Tillerson that it plans to retain its diplomatic mission, which is ‘very small’ in size, in Pyongyang, even as the Trump administration heightens its efforts to isolate North Korea for its nuclear and missile programme.

Officials familiar with the meeting between Tillerson and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said Swaraj broached the topic of the Indian mission in North Korea and India’s ‘diminishing ’ trade with Iran, even before any specific aspect of Delhi- Pyongyang ties were brought up by the American side.

“They could have asked specific questions. But the minister spoke about the issue before any specific question was asked,” said an official. The issue of North Korea was expected to come up during the talks in a big way as US President Donald Trump heads to China next month.

“As far as the question of embassy goes, our embassy there (Pyongyang) is very small, but there is in fact an embassy,” Swaraj said in a press conference.

“I told secretary Tillerson that some of their friendly countries should maintain embassies there so that some channels of communication are kept open. They (the US) might need to talk to them sometime. So, it’s better to have friendly countries’ missions there,” she explained.

India and North Korea maintain diplomatic offices in each other’s capitals, though New Delhi recently banned trade of most goods with the country, except food or medicine after the fresh round of UN sanctions.