In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India has demanded a probe into the nuclear proliferation linkages of North Korea, the nuclear-armed country that fired a mid-range ballistic missile over Japan last week. In violation of international rules, it also conducted its most powerful nuclear test with a hydrogen bomb on September 3, triggering an artificial earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale.
“External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj deplored North Korea’s recent actions and stated that its proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved must be held accountable,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a news conference in New York.
The foreign minister’s comments came during her meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. There was no direct reference to Pakistan in her comments. However, reports indicate Pakistan had secretly supplied North Korea with nuclear enrichment technology when AQ Khan headed the former’s nuclear programme.
Even though the MEA spokesperson declined to name the country, he said, “We have very clearly mentioned that we not only deplore North Korea’s recent actions but also stated that its proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved be held accountable.”
Maritime security, connectivity, and proliferation were three subjects discussed at the trilateral meeting between the officials.
“We have spelled out what these heads mean on security the ministers emphasised the need to ensure freedom of navigation respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes,” said Kumar.
(with inputs from PTI)