India calls for examining North Korea's nuke linkages

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj addressing an earlier session of the United Nations General Assembly

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj addressing an earlier session of the United Nations General Assembly

The meet comes amid rising nuclear threats of North Korea who fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the second time on September 15 within a span of a month. Views on maritime security, connectivity and proliferation issues were exchanged.

The three ministers "emphasised the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for global law and peaceful resolution of disputes", a clear reference to China's muscle-flexing in the South China Sea and its dispute with littoral states, including Japan.

India's Permanent Representative to the U.S. Syed Akbaruddin said climate change, terrorism, people-centric migration and peacekeeping will among the focus areas for India this year.

"The ministers emphasised the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for worldwide law and peaceful resolution of disputes", ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Swaraj will represent India at the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) session and hold a series of meetings with her counterparts from around the world.

China disputes ownership of the Japanese islands of Senkaku and frequently Chinese military aircraft and ships intrude in to territorial waters around them.

Sushma Swaraj did not name any country but the message was subtle yet clear: The nuclear link between Pakistan and North Korea has always been established and Islamabad, whose role has been generally ignored internationally, must be held accountable.

Following the trilateral meeting, Sushma Swaraj will represent India at a United Nations reforms meeting convened by US President Donald Trump. These were the first such flights since the powerful nuclear test conducted by North Korea which has been under tremendous sanctions. India is one of the 120 countries which have supported the reform efforts of the UN Secretary-General.

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