New Delhi has argued that some diplomatic presence was needed in North Korea to ensure communication channels were open but said it had suspended all trade with the country except that of medicines and food.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – India has refused to give in to America’s pressure to snap all diplomatic connections with North Korea. In a meeting with the visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj categorically said that India has sized down its embassy in DPRK but does not intend to close it down.
“We discussed the issue of DPRK. We discussed the matter of trade reduction and closing of embassies. As far as our trade with North Korea is concerned, it has decreased over the years,” Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in her statement after the meeting with Tillerson.
Swaraj argued that the small Indian embassy could serve as a channel of communication between Pyongyang and the rest of the world.
“I told Secretary Tillerson that some of their friendly countries should maintain embassies there so that some channels of communication are kept open,” she said.
India was North Korea second biggest trade partner but following UN sanctions, India has suspended trade with North Korea except for food and medicine. India has also cut the size of its embassy in North Korea. At present the Indian embassy in Pyongyang has only five officials.
READ MORE: India Prods ASEAN to Take Action Against China, Pakistan for Helping North Korea
Following Pyongyang’s latest nuclear ventures, the country is gradually being isolated by the international community in a bid to pressurize the nation to the extent it is forced to suspend its nuclear program. Italy recently expelled North Korea’s incoming new ambassador; China has limited its oil exports to the country; the United Nations imposed fresh, stricter sanctions restricting exports from North Korea and the United States has repeatedly warned of action against the country while aggressively lobbying among other countries to snap all ties with North Korea.