India-North Korea Relation : India extends $1 Million Medical Assistance to North Korea
India-North Korea Relation : India has extended medical assistance worth $1 million to North Korea. This comes at a time when China is trying to increase its influence in hermit kingdom.
India decided to help North Korea with the much needed medical assistance for WHO’s ongoing anti-tuberculosis programme. India decided to help Kim Jong-Un’s kingdom after World Health Organisation’s request. India handed over a consignment of anti-tuberculosis medicines worth $1 million to North Korea on Wednesday.
India has always tried to maintain good relation with North Korea. However, due to US sanctions on India-North Korea relation has not made it to news. It must be remembered that after China, India is second largest trading partner of North Korea. Though 90% of trading activities of North Korea is with China, with India, North Korea has around 2.5% export business and around 1.7% import business.
In 2015, the foreign minister of North Korea visited India asking for humanitarian aid. In 2018, General VK Singh, then Minister of State for External Affairs embarked on a rare visit to North Korea. It was infact the visit by any minister in Government of India till date.
The aid package was handed over to North Korea by Indian embassy in North Korea in presence of WHO representative. Recently Indian Ambassador to North Korea Atul Malhari Gotsurve in a interview with India news channel, WION said that life in Pyongyang is normal. Shops and services are open and so are the universities, schools, factories and offices. Public transport for locals too is functioning smoothly when asked about the Coronavirus situation in the hermit kingdom.
At the time of Coronavirus pandemic, due to sanctions and foreign media ban in North Korea there is no news about the COVID-19 situation in the country. India’s aid to North Korea is based upon humanitarian ground. The doors of west is completely shut for North Korea, therefore India took an initiative to help the people of North Korea who may be suffering due to number of US and UN sanctions.