India–North Korea relations
However, India is a critic of North Korea's nuclear proliferation record and has also voiced concerns over its military relationship with arch-rival Pakistan and North Korea's support towards Pakistan on the Kashmir conflict. India has repeatedly condemned North Korean nuclear tests and views its nuclear programme as a threat to regional security.
India strongly supported UN resolutions and military operations against North Korea during the Korean War. However, India has said that it wants the "reunification" of Korea. According to 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 23% of Indians view North Korea's worldly influence positively, with 27% expressing a negative view.
Relations between the two countries extends back to 48 CE, when Queen Suro, or Princess Heo Hwang-ok, travelled from the kingdom of Ayodhya in North India to Korea. According to the Samguk Yusa, the princess had dreamt about a heavenly king who was awaiting heaven's anointed ride. After Princess Heo had the dream, she asked her parents, the king and queen, for permission to set out and seek the man, which the king and queen urged with the belief that god orchestrated the whole fate. Upon approval, she set out on a boat, carrying gold, silver, a tea plant, and a stone which calmed the waters. Archeologists discovered a stone with two fish kissing each other, a symbol of the Gaya kingdom that is unique to the Mishra royal family in Ayodhya, India. This royal link provides further evidence that there was an active commercial engagements between India and Korea since the queen's arrival to Korea.
A famous Korean visitor to India was Hyecho, a Korean Buddhist monk from Silla, one of the three Korean kingdoms of the period. On the advice of his Indian teachers in China, he set out for India in 723 CE to acquaint himself with the language and culture of the land of the Buddha. He wrote a travelogue of his journey in Chinese, Wang ocheonchukguk jeon or "An account of travel to the five Indian kingdoms". The work was long thought to be lost. However, a manuscript turned up among the Dunhuang manuscripts during the early 20th century.
A rich merchant from the Ma'bar Sultanate, Abu Ali (P'aehali) 孛哈里 (or 布哈爾 Buhaer), was associated closely with the Ma'bar royal family. After falling out with them, he moved to Yuan dynasty China and received a Korean woman as his wife and a job from the Mongol Emperor, the woman was formerly 桑哥 Sangha's wife and her father was 蔡仁揆 채송년 Ch'ae In'gyu during the reign of 忠烈 Chungnyeol of Goryeo, recorded in the Dongguk Tonggam, Goryeosa and 留夢炎 Liu Mengyan's 中俺集 Zhong'anji. 桑哥 Sangha was a Tibetan.
India condemned North Korea as an aggressor when the Korean War started, supporting Security Council resolutions 82 and 83 on the crisis. However, India did not support resolution 84 for military assistance to South Korea. As a non-aligned country, India hesitated to involve itself in a military commitment against North Korea. Instead, India gave its moral support for the UN action and decided to send a medical unit to Korea as a humanitarian gesture. The 60th Indian Field Ambulance Unit, a unit of the Indian Airborne Division, was selected to be dispatched to Korea. The unit consisted of 346 men including 14 doctors.
India was chair of the 9-member UN Commission that monitored elections in undivided Korea in 1947. After the Korean War, India again played an important role as the chair of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in the Korean peninsula. India established consular relations with North Korea in 1962 and in 1973, established full diplomatic relations with it. India's relationship with North Korea has however been affected by North Korean relations with Pakistan especially due to its help for Pakistan's nuclear missile programme. In 1999, India impounded a North Korean ship off the Kandla coast that was found to be carrying missile components and blueprints. India's relations with South Korea have far greater economic and technological depth and India's keenness for South Korean investments and technology have in turn affected it's relations with the North adversely. India has consistently voiced its opposition to North Korean nuclear and missile tests.
Trade between India and North Korea has seen a large increase in recent years. From an average total trade of barely $10 million in the middle of the 2000s, it shot up to $60 million in 2013. The trade is overwhelmingly in India's favour, with its exports accounting for roughly $60 million while North Korean exports to India were worth $36 million. India's primary export to North Korea is refined petroleum products while silver and auto parts are the main components of its imports from North Korea. India participated in the sixth Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair in October 2010 and there have been efforts to bring about greater economic cooperation and trade between the two countries since then. In 2010–11, Indo-North Korean trade stood at $57 million with India's exports accounting for $32 million.
In 2002 and 2004, India contributed 2000 tonnes of food grains to help North Korea tide over severe famine like conditions. In 2010, India responded to North Korea's request for food aid and made available to it 1300 tonnes of pulses and wheat worth $1 million through the UN World Food Programme.
On 23 April 2015 North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong visited New Delhi, capital of the Republic of India for talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on North Korea’s nuclear programme and to request additional humanitarian assistance but no agreement was reached because of the recent North Korean statement in support of Pakistan.
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