Last week, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong was in New Delhi for talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on North Korea’s nuclear program and to request additional humanitarian assistance. In an email interview, Ankit Panda, an associate editor at The Diplomat, discussed India’s ties with North Korea.
WPR: How extensive are India’s ties with North Korea, and what are the main areas of cooperation?
Ankit Panda: India and North Korea do not have the closest relationship by any means, though New Delhi remains a reliable partner and an important source of exports and aid for Pyongyang. India enjoys a normal diplomatic relationship with North Korea, and the two states have embassies in each other’s capitals. Cooperation is not extensive, but India has offered limited technical training to North Korean government staff, primarily on information technology. While North Korea is rich in minerals, India imports very little given the extensive international sanctions regime and North Korea’s lack of access to robust shipping and banking systems.