NEW DELHI – India has sent a government minister to North Korea for the first time in nearly two decades for talks on political and regional issues, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday, following signs of a thaw on the Korean peninsula.
India established diplomatic relations with the North 45 years ago and has a small embassy there, but in recent years it halted trade and aid as the United States stepped up global pressure to isolate Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.
India's diplomatic initiative comes weeks after the two Koreas held their first summit in more than a decade and as the leaders of the United States and North Korea prepare for a first meeting next month.
Junior foreign minister V.K. Singh, who began the two-day visit to North Korea on Tuesday, reiterated New Delhi's support for peace initiatives on the peninsula, the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.