Countries across the world have welcomed the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s commitment to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula during a historic summit in Singapore with the US President Donald Trump. Both leaders signed on three documents in which Kim pledged to completely denuclearise the Korean peninsula and Washington promised to provide security. Leaders across the world say the development is vital towards stability of the region and giving further push to the global economy. India too welcomed the meet and described it as a “positive moment.” The MEA expressed hope that outcomes of the meet would be implemented in a true spirit, thus paving the way for lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. Besides, it reiterated its demand from Pyongyang to take New Delhi’s concern into its account about proliferation linkages being extended to neighbourhood – a clear reference made to Pakistan.
“We also hope that the resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue will take into account and address our concerns about proliferation linkages extending to India’s neighbourhood,” the MEA said in a statement.
Several India media reports said New Delhi and North Korea enjoyed friendly diplomatic, commercial and economic ties before Prime Minister Narendra Modi suspended bulk of bilateral trade with the country in 2017 amid hosts of international sanctions. They even said that New Delhi maintains an embassy in Pyongyang, hinting India wants to keep a healthy relationship with North Korea. Last month, Union Minister VK Singh had visited the isolated nation, the first high-profile visit since 1998, signalling it was willing to revive its ties with the MEA describing North Korea ‘friendly nation’.
Many other reports says in late 2016 India was the third largest trade partner of North Korea after China and Singapore.
However, North Korea-aided proliferation in India’s neighbourhood has been a major cause of concern for New Delhi. Now, with the latest de-nuclearisation decision in Singapore, media reported that New Delhi expects it will help in exposing the proliferation conduits between North Korea, China and Pakistan.
Pakistan also reacted positively saying it will lead to lasting peace and stability in the region. Dr Mohammad Faisal, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said Islamabad has consistently supported all efforts towards peaceful settlement of issues in the Korean peninsula. Country’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz Sharif asked India to resume peace talks with Pakistan, saying the Singapore summit between Trump and Kim should set a good precedent for both the neighbours to follow.
The Dawn reported that Trump and Kim coming together for a summit and shaking hands with each other seemed just “unthinkable months ago”. The daily added that the summit in Singapore could chart the course for the historic peace as both the leaders appeared optimistic. While Kim called it a ‘good prelude for peace’, Trump pledged that ‘working together we will get it taken care of’. It noted that at the documents signing ceremony, Trump said he expected to meet Kim many times in the future. Responding to questions, he added that he ‘absolutely’ would invite Kim to the White House.
China said the US and North Korea have for more than half of the century have been in a state of antagonism, but the latest meet has paved the way for top leaders of both nations to sit together and have equal talks. “It has important and positive meaning, and is creating a new history,” Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said, adding that the Security Council should make efforts to support the diplomatic efforts at the present time.
The state-run Global Times reported that if the US stops joint military exercises with South Korea, it will be a big step forward on the Korean Peninsula. It said that if achieved, China’s “suspension for suspension” proposal will become a reality. China has given calls for North Korea to suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of US-South Korea military exercises. “A new leaf will be turned over,” the daily said in an editorial.
It added that with a cooling down of military activities, and less US military participation and “possibly an eventual US troop withdrawal”, the Korean Peninsula will completely walk out of the shadow of the Cold War. “If political process moves toward this direction on the peninsula, the whole region will benefit.”
In another article, the daily noted that Kim went on an evening tour of some of the Singapore’s landmarks. It said that if North Korea wants to follow in the footsteps of other Asian countries to achieve economic success and reduce poverty, Pyongyang will open up its economy to the outside world eventually.