India Thursday rubbished a report that appeared in Al Jazeera, which claimed that India was assisting North Korea in activities proscribed by the United Nation.
”We have come across the article titled ‘India’s embarrassing North Korean connection’ by Nilanjana Bhowmick in Al Jazeera. The insinuation in the article regarding India’s assistance to North Korea’s (DPRK’s) UN proscribed activities is baseless and without any merit,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement.
The reports in Al Jazeera come on a day when India’s application for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers group is to come up for consideration at its plenary in Seoul, South Korea.
The UN Panel of Experts that deals with UN sanctions on DPRK has made references in its report to DPRK’s participation in courses in the Dehradun based Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) which ‘could’ have implications for its proscribed activities.
“The report is subjective and based on the limited understanding of the expert(s) who have authored it. India has made its position clear in this regard to the UN Security Council,” the spokesperson said.
He said the topics covered in the courses offered by CSSTEAP are very general and cover basic principles in the respective areas. The course material offered to the participants is available in open-source.
“We believe that these courses are unlikely to contribute in any way to a violation of the various UN sanctions pertaining to DPRK. Further, a representative of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA) is a Permanent Observer in the Governing Board of the Centre.
The Advisory Committee of the Centre, which evaluates and reviews the course curriculum and criterion for the selection of candidates, is chaired by the Director of UN-OOSA,” said Mr Swarup.
He said India was fully aware of its obligations under the UN Charter and has been exemplary in its implementation of UN sanctions including those related to DPRK.
” As a country that has been a victim of proliferation in its extended neighbourhood, it is ridiculous to suggest that India has in any way aided the violation of UN sanctions on DPRK,” he said.