Narendra Modi and Moon Jae-in hold talks: India, South Korea agree to expand economic, strategic cooperation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Tuesday to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties and the two leaders also addressed a press conference later.

India and South Korea signed 11 MoUs and agreements after the bilateral talks between the two with an aim to strengthen their strategic cooperation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean president Moon Jae-in. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean president Moon Jae-in. PTI

Modi credited Moon for initiating the peace process in the Korean peninsula. "I believe that the positive environment that has been created is an effort of Moon," he added. While saying that the proliferation links between north Asia and south Asia are a matter of concern for India, he said that New Delhi is also a stakeholder in the peace process and will do its bit to contribute to peace in the region.

The prime minister further said that steps have been taken to upgrade comprehensive economic partnership agreement between India and South Korea. Seoul's participation in the 'Make in India' mission has created many employment opportunities in India, he added.

He said by signing an 'early harvest package' document, the two countries have taken a step forward in upgrading their comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

Moon said that India and South Korea have developed bilateral relations in various fields for the last 45 years and in 2015, the two countries escalated it to a 'special strategic partnership' when Modi visited Seoul.

He also said that the two countries agreed to expand their economic, diplomatic and security cooperation. The South Korean president said he eagerly awaits Modi's visit to Korea.

The two sides also released a vision document articulating ways to boost their strategic cooperation and reaffirming convergence of their views in dealing with maritime conflicts. The vision document said the two leaders also reaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds and sought coordinated regional and global efforts.

It said that both sides agreed to explore further possibilities to coordinate efforts in defence and strategic spheres and will enhance military exchanges, training and experience-sharing.

The two sides also resolved to work together to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems, particularly to terrorists and non-state actors.

Referring to the recent summit between North Korea and South Korea and talks between US president Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un, the two leaders hoped that these developments will contribute to complete denuclearisation as well as lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean side also supported India's bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Moon, who arrived in India on Sunday on his first state visit to India, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by President Ram Nath Kovind and the prime minister on Tuesday morning.

The South Korean president also paid floral tributes at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

On Monday, Moon had jointly inaugurated the world's largest mobile phone factory in Noida with Modi. The two leaders had also travelled in the Delhi Metro to Noida while heading for the inauguration of the Samsung facility.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had also called on Moon on Monday and discussed ways to elevate the 'special strategic partnership' between the two countries.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 10, 2018 19:28:18 IST

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