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India, S Korea to expand political, security, trade ties

Last updated on: March 25, 2012 14:42 IST

India, S Korea to expand political, security, trade ties

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Sagar Kulkarni in Seoul

India and South Korea on Sunday agreed to expand their political and security ties besides upgrading the already booming business cooperation to achieve an ambitious trade target of USD 40 billion (Rs 2,08,000 cr) by 2015, doubling the figure.

"We agreed to expand our political and security cooperation," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after his talks with President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul.

"With this objective in mind, I informed President Lee of India's decision to position a defence attache at our embassy here in Seoul before the end of the year," he said.

Noting that bilateral trade had risen by 65 per cent over the past two years since the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, Singh said,

"President Lee and I agreed that our strong economic ties are fundamental to our growing interaction.

"We have therefore set a new target of USD 40 billion by 2015. We also agreed to accelerate work in progress to upgrade the agreement and make it more ambitious."

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Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh meets South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, in Seoul
Photographs: PIB

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'Leaders agree to enhance cooperation, coordination on regional issues'

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In a joint statement released after the talks, the two leaders expressed grave concern about the continued threat of terrorism and piracy, emanating from various quarters.

"The two leaders expressed the hope that the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which was under consideration at the UN, would be adopted soon," the joint statement said.

Singh and Lee also agreed to enhance cooperation and coordination on regional issues, including in the East Asia Summit process.

Singh arrived in Seoul on Saturday for a four-day visit to attend a Nuclear Security Summit. The two-day summit begins on Monday.

In the joint statement, the two leaders also agreed to explore constructive and forward looking ways to facilitate greater market access to each other's products and services.

Prime Minister Singh said that the Indian side was hopeful of providing Korea with pharmaceutical and agricultural products, as well as, IT enabled services.

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Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh arrives at the Seoul air force base to attend the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit
Photographs: PIB

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'India, S Korea agree to continue high-level defence exchanges'

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They reiterated the pressing need for all countries and international financial institutions to work in tandem in order to overcome the crisis affecting each and every nation due to the "very difficult" global and financial situation.

Singh and Lee also agreed to step up consultations including those in the G20 process to enhance transparency and cooperation in both regional and global economic structures.

They underlined their strong commitment to the peaceful settlement of issues, without resorting to force or the threat of use of force, it said.

The two sides also agreed to continue high-level defence exchanges and "explore the possibilities of joint ventures in research and development, and manufacture of military equipment through the transfer of technology and co-production," it said.

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Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur being welcomed by the children at the President House of South Korea
Photographs: PIB
Tags: , G20 , Lee , Korea , OIndia

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Leaders reaffirm need for joint efforts at nuclear disarmament

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As part of high-level defence exchanges, South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin will visit India in the second half of the year in return for the 2010 visit by his Indian counterpart, the statement said.

On North Korea, Singh and Lee shared an understanding on the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, including its denuclearisation, the statement said.

"Noting North Korea's announcement ... that it plans to launch the so-called 'application satellite,' they urged that nothing should be done which increases tensions in the region and violates the relevant UN Security Council resolutions," the statement said.

The two leaders also reaffirmed the importance of joint efforts at nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, it said.

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Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh received by South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Sung-han on his arrival at Seoul
Photographs: PIB

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