The US had suddenly bypassed the 2 + 2 dialogue going on with India last week. However, no solid reasons were given by US Foreign Ministry, but it is now clear that the reason behind this was the North Korean visit of the US Secretary of State. According to White House, Mike Pampio is going on a trip to North Korea on July 5. The talks between India and the US were going to be held on July 6 and Pampio was its key part. In such a way, North Korea’s visit just a day before Pampío could be the biggest reason for avoiding this talk. The talks were aimed at strengthening strategic and defense cooperation between the two countries.
White House spokesman Sarah Sanders said that External Affairs Minister Pampio will leave for North Korea on July 5 to continue the important work of nuclear disarmament on the Korean peninsula and will meet Emperor Kim Jong-un and his team during this period. The State Department confirmed the visit of Pampío, saying that he will be on a tour of North Korea from July 5 to 7, 2018. He will visit Tokyo, Hanoi, Abu Dhabi and Brussels from July 5 to 12. Pompeo can meet with Japanese officials on July 7 and South Korea on July 8.
Last Wednesday, the US gave information about postponing of India’s 2 + 2 talks. The US had said that due to unavoidable reasons it will not possible and will soon be rescheduled. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were about to go to Washington for the talks. However, earlier this month, the negotiations have been put off in March because at that time Trump had removed then External Affairs Minister Rex Tylson from the post.
Speculation swirled that the talks were canceled because India-US ties are on a downward spiral no thanks to trade tiffs, India buying S-400 missiles from Russia, the H-1B visa stickiness.