North Korea might have an autocratic ruler in place but it might surprise many that India maintains a strong diplomatic relation with North Korea, the same way it does with South Korea. The trade and diplomatic relations between two nations are growing and India has an embassy in Pyongyang. Similarly, North Korea also has its embassy in New Delhi.
The crucial divide
Despite maintaining diplomatic relations with North Korea, India has criticized North Korea for its poor record on nuclear proliferation and its key military relations with Pakistan who is an arch rival of India. India has always condemned the nuclear tests being carried by North Korea as it sees these as a threat to peace in the South Asian region.
India is strongly in favor of a united Korea, something which North Korea is averse to see. If we ignore these facts, North Korea and India are key trade partners with the Indian export to North Korea reaching more than US$60 million.
India is also a major source of aid to North Korea and provided 2000 tons of food grain as an aid to it in 2002 and 2004 when it was battling a major famine like condition. However, things have deteriorated in recent days and North Korea did not receive any humanitarian aid since it has offered support to Pakistan.