When the United Nations imposed an additional embargo on North Korea a few months ago, Nepal was one of the parties to the UN resolution. But this did not make any difference to a Nepali parliamentary delegation, led by former Nepalese prime Minister and CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, to pay a visit to the Hermit Kingdom.
According to a press release, a high-level parliamentary delegation from Nepal visited North Korean capital Pyongyang with a view to promoting peace and friendship.
Although the delegation did not meet North Korea’s Supreme leader, it held talks with government officials, top leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), including prominent leaders of the Supreme People's Assembly, and Workers Party of Korea. “Our visit is for creating a conducive environment for dialogue and promoting peace,” said former Prime Minister Nepal.
Madhav Kumar Nepal, who is a senior leader of CPN-UML, asked DPRK leaders to engage in talks with the concerned stakeholders to find an amicable solution to the rising tension in the Korean peninsula, said his personal secretary Mohan Gautam.
The former prime minister also expressed his concern and good wishes to the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and its founder Dr Hak Ja Han Moon as well as founding Chairman of ICAPP Jose de Venecia Jr, who is five-time Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, for the efforts to maintain peace and security in the peninsula.
Although the government briefed Nepal’s position on DPRK and indirectly requested to cancel the trip, former prime minister and the CPN-UML Nepal-led parliamentary delegation left for DPRK.
Former PM Nepal advocated for quiet diplomacy with an emphasis on economic development and welfare of the people, said Gautam. Nepal asked Korean leaders to accelerate multi-sector exchanges such as people to people, parliamentarians to parliamentarians, educational institutions to educational institutions, city to city for mutual benefits. He also invited DPRK leaders to participate actively in international forums such as UPF, IAPP, and ICAPP.
Another member of the delegation, former Minister Ek Nath Dhakal said the Nepali delegation held separate meetings with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and Ri Su Yong, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea who is also the chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Assembly.
The report published in The Republica said former Minister Haribol Gajurel and lawmaker Chhaya Sharma Panta were among other 10 members of the delegation.
The Nepalese delegation also attended some important events organized on the occasion of the 5th International Festival to Praise the Great Persons of Mount Pektu. Dhakal asked parliamentarians of the Supreme People's Assembly to visit Nepal and lay the ground for further exchanges and cooperation to strengthen bilateral relations.
Globally, what message it carries and whether the meeting is diplomatic embarrassment for Nepal or gain, DPRK government leaders and Supreme People's Assembly members were appreciative for the Nepali parliamentarians for the visit.