India Firm on North Korea Launch
Image Credit: Indian External Affairs Ministry

India Firm on North Korea Launch


India reacted swiftly and strongly to the launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea on Friday. Indeed, the response by India to the launch of the rocket, which broke apart soon after launch, said much about the evolving geopolitics of the region.

India’s quick condemnation indicated not only that New Delhi is on the same page as the U.S.-led international community on North Korea, but also highlights that India isn’t shy of taking a tough position vis-a-vis a state known for its close ties with China. In a sense, the Indian reaction indicates Delhi’s disapproval of Chinese near-abroad diplomacy.

The External Affairs Ministry expressed “serious concern” over the development, and urged North Korea not to repeat such acts, which are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. “India notes with serious concern the attempted launch of a rocket by (North Korea) which violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 and adversely impacts peace and stability in the Korean peninsula. India calls on the DPRK not to undertake actions in violation of UNSC Resolutions,” the ministry said.

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The long-range rocket launch by North Korea has undermined the February 29 deal reached between North Korea and the United States in Beijing, and suggests to the international community that Pyongyang has quickly returned to the roguish behavior under the late Kim Jong-il.

With Burma opening up to the international community, it was hoped that North Korea, arguably the last real pariah nation, would follow suit. But the latest provocation from North Korea has put paid to such hopes.

China’s relative quiet on recent North Korean developments, meanwhile, will only help India diplomatically at the cost of China, as Beijing is widely seen as North Korea’s benefactor. Regional powers like Japan, South Korea and Vietnam are understandably irked by the North Korean act, and can be expected to work to forge closer strategic ties with India.

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