India seeking probe into N. Korea's nuke proliferation linkages a well-aimed swipe at Pak?

ANI | Updated: Sep 19, 2017 11:34 IST

New York [U.S.A.], September 19 (ANI): India has asked for an investigation into North Korea's nuclear proliferation linkages, while also adding that those involved must be held accountable.

The disapproval about the linkages is being seen as a veiled reference to, perhaps a well-aimed swipe at, Pakistan.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made the assertion during her trilateral meeting with the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono on Monday, on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

When asked about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said the EAM deplored its recent actions and stated that "its proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved be held accountable."

"I think I am giving you enough material to try to figure out what we are talking about," he added.

Swaraj's remark has come days after North Korea fired another mid-range inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) over Japan on Friday.

Also, on September 3, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in direct defiance of the United Nations sanctions.

Earlier last week, India and Japan also made a veiled reference to Pakistan in a joint statement they released after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The joint statement condemned North Korea's nuclear programme as "a grave threat to global peace" and emphasised on holding "accountable all parties supporting the nation's nuclear ambitions."

Meanwhile, the issues of maritime security, and connectivity were also discussed at trilateral meeting between India, Japan and the United States.

Addressing the media here, Kumar said the ministers emphasised on the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for the international law and peaceful resolution of disputes.

"This is the third trilateral meeting that took place. The issues of maritime security, connectivity and proliferation were discussed at the trilateral meeting between India, the U.S. and Japan. The ministers emphasised on the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for the international law and peaceful resolution of disputes," he said.

On connectivity initiatives, Kumar said the importance of basing them on universally-recognised international norms, prudent financing and respect for sovereignity and territorial integrity was underlined.

He said that Sushma Swaraj's meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was not to discuss the issue of Rohingyas, but was just a courtesy meeting.

"EAM Sushma Swaraj met the foreign ministries of five countries. Tunisia, Latvia, the U.A.E., Denmark and Bahrain. She also called on the two heads of government of Bhutan and Bangladesh. Bangladesh was more of a courtesy call. Towards the end of the day, the EAM had a meeting with Ivanka Trump. Discussions were also held over her visit to India for the Global Entrepreneurs Summit and women empowerment," he added.

Kumar said that Swaraj met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the U.A.E. and discussed measures to attract foreign direct investment into India.

"In her meeting with Bahrain Foreign Minister, EAM Swaraj held discussions on regional issues, especially the situation in the Gulf," he added.

Sushma Swaraj arrived in New York on Sunday for seven days of back-to-back engagements centring around the U.N. General Assembly, including her first meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

Conclusively, Sushma Swaraj is set to have several bilateral meetings and multilateral commitments, apart from speaking at the U.N. general debate on September 23. (ANI)

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