Seoul: India and South Korea on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries, a week after the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead. The MoU was inked in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in after the two sides held delegation-level talks.
"I express my gratitude to President Moon for his condolences on the Pulwama attack and support against terror. The MoU signed between the two countries today will further take forward our counter-terrorism agenda," Modi said after a joint statement was issued by the two countries. The Prime Minister, who is a two-day visit to South Korea, said to boost bilateral cooperation in defence production, a roadmap has been agreed to by the two sides on defence technology and co-production. "The defence sector is an important part of our growing partnership with South Korea. An example of this is the induction of K-9 Vajra artillery guns in the Indian Army," he said on the concluding day of his visit.
The first batch of South Korean-made K-9 self-propelled howitzers was delivered to the Army in 2018. The induction of 100 long-range guns is expected to be completed by November 2020. Modi said that the combination of India's Act East Policy and South Korea's New Southern Policy is giving a platform to strengthen the special strategic partnership between the two countries. "India's vision on Indo-Pacific is a special emphasis on ASEAN's centrality and shared prosperity," he said.
I India and South Korea signed six agreements on Friday to enhance cooperation in key areas, including infrastructure development, media, start-ups and combating trans-border and international crime, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the country.
The memorandum of understandings (MoUs) were signed after the two leaders held "constructive" talks on enhancing bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including trade, investment, defence and security. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that six documents between India and South Korea were signed/exchanged in the presence of the two leaders on cooperation in media, start-ups and police among others. Earlier, the MEA said that a total of seven documents were signed/exchanged. However, it later said that six agreements were inked.
An MoU was signed between Korean National Police Agency and the Ministry of Home Affairs to enhance cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries and combat trans-border and international crimes. Another agreement was signed for releasing a joint stamp, commemorating Princess Suriratna (Queen Hur Hwang-ok), a legendary Princess of Ayodhya, who went to Korea in AD 48 and married King Kim-Suro. A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to the princess.
The two sides also signed an agreement to continue operations of Korea Plus organisation that facilitates investments by Korean companies in India. Korea Plus was operationalised in June 2016, and comprises representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy of South Korea, Korea Trade-Investment and Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Invest India. The two countries will promote collaboration among start-ups and set up a Korea Start-up Centre (KSC) in India to commercialise ideas, technologies and designs of start-up companies. The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and Prasar Bharti have agreed to facilitate the broadcast of DD India Channel in South Korea and KBS World Channel in India.
Another MoU was signed between the National Highways Authority of India and Korea Expressway Corporation to promote bilateral cooperation in road and transport infrastructure development projects of India, and facilitate technical and institutional knowledge exchange in the field of road and transport.
Both the leaders held talks on enhancing cooperation in key areas such as trade and investment, defence and security, energy, space, start-ups and people-to-people exchanges, according to External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. The talks were held at the Blue House, the official residence-cum-office of the South Korean President, where he received given a ceremonial welcome. Earlier, the Prime Minister paid tributes to Korean soldiers at the National Cemetery.
On the Seoul Peace Prize, which will be presented to him later in the day, Modi said he would accept the honour not as a personal achievement, but on the behalf of the people of both India and South Korea as a symbol of goodwill and affection. The Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation had in October last year announced that Modi will be conferred with the honour in recognition of his dedicated service to international cooperation, global growth and human development.
Modi had arrived in Seoul on Thursday morning with the aim of strengthening the special strategic partnership between South Korea and India and boosting bilateral trade and cultural ties.
This is the Prime Minister's second visit to South Korea after his state visit in May 2015.
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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2019 14:01:07 IST