Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India is a stakeholder in the peace process in the Korean peninsula after he held wide-ranging deliberations with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that focused on deepening strategic cooperation between the two countries.
In the talks, the two sides agreed to significantly enhance cooperation in a range of areas including defence and security, artificial intelligence, trade besides resolving to work together for regional peace and prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The two countries inked a total of 10 agreements covering a broad spectrum of areas for cooperation and signed a document to facilitate negotiations to upgrade the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
At a joint media event with Moon, Modi indirectly referred to North Korea's proliferation linkages with Pakistan and that it was a reason why India is a stakeholder in the peace process.
"During our talks, I told President Moon that proliferation linkages between North-East Asia and South Asia is a matter of concern to India. Therefore, India is also a stakeholder in the peace process. We will do our bit to ensure peace," Modi said in his press statement.
India has been pressing for a probe into North Korea's nuclear proliferation linkages with Pakistan and demanded that those responsible for it should be held accountable.
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, in a clear reference to China's expansionist behaviour in critical sea lanes.
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 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.
The two countries also agreed to explore tripartite partnership for development in third countries, beginning with capacity building programmes in Afghanistan.
Referring to disputes in the maritime sphere, the vision document said both Modi and Moon recognised the link between prosperity and security and reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce.
"We supported initiatives for peaceful resolution of conflict through dialogue, underlying the centrality of sovereignty and territorial integrity, in accordance with the universally-recognised principles of international law," it said, seen as a clear reference to China.
Besides this, India and South Korea also signed 11 Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) on diverse subjects.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) released, a joint statement on early harvest package of the upgraded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed to facilitate ongoing negotiations on upgrading the India-RoK (Republic of Korea) CEPA by identifying key areas for trade liberalization (including shrimp, molluscs and processed fish).
The agreement was signed by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu from the Indian side and Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Kim Hyun-chong from the South Korean side.
A MoU on trade remedies was also signed for cooperation in the area of trade remedies such as anti-dumping, subsidy, countervailing and safeguard measures through consultations and exchange of information through the establishment of a cooperation committee, comprising government officials and domain experts.
Minister Prabhu and Minister Kim Hyun-chong signed the agreement.
A MoU on future strategy group was inked for cooperation in the development of cutting-edge technologies for commercialisation to reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.
The thrust areas include Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, smart factory, 3D printing, electric vehicle, advanced materials and affordable healthcare for the elderly and disabled.
The agreement was signed by Minister Prabhu and Union Environment and Science Minister Harsh Vardhan from the Indian side. From the Korean side, Minister Kim Hyun-chong and Minister for Science and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) You Young Min signed the agreement.
An agreement on a cultural exchange programme for the period 2018-2022 was signed to deepen cultural and people-to-people relations by providing for institutionalised cooperation in fields of music and dance, theatre, art exhibitions, archives, anthropology, mass media programmes and museum exhibits.
Raghvendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture Raghvendra Singh and South Korean envoy to India Shin Bong Kil signed the agreement.
A MoU on cooperation in the field of scientific and technological research between Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST) was signed for cooperation in scientific and technological research, including in areas of affordable water purification technologies, intelligent transport systems, new/alternative materials, traditional and oriental medicines and technology packaging and commercialisation.
The agreement was signed by CSIR Director General Girish Sahni and National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST) Chairman Wohn Kwang Yun.
A MoU on cooperation between Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) and Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) was signed for cooperation in railway research, exchange of railway-related experience and development of railway industries.
Both the countries will explore plans and execution of joint research projects, including setting-up an advanced railways Research and Development (R&D) facility in India.
The agreement was exchanged by Research Design and Standards Organisation Director-General M. Hussain and Korea Railroad Research Institute president Na Hee-seung.
A MoU on cooperation in the field of biotechnology and bio-economics was signed for cooperation in the adoption of biotechnology and bio big-data in health, medicine, agro fishery products, digital healthcare, precision medicine, brain research, and next generation-medical equipment.
It was signed by Union Environment and Science Minister Harsh Vardhan and Minister for Science and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) You Young Min.
A MoU on cooperation in the field of ICT and telecommunications was signed for cooperation in development, modernisation and expansion of state-of-the-art telecommunication/ICT services and next-generation wireless communication networks such as 5G, cloud computing, big data, IOT, AI and their applications in services, disaster management, emergency response, and cyber security.
It was signed by Minister of State of the Ministry of Telecommunications Manoj Sinha and Minister You Young Min.
A MoU on cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) between India and RoK was signed between the National Small Industries Corporation of India and the Small and Medium Business Corporation (SBC) of South Korea. The agreement was for cooperation in the development of MSMEs in both countries and in improving their competitiveness in global markets.
The two countries will also explore the possibility of establishing an India-RoK technology exchange centre.
The agreement was inked by NSIC Chairman and Managing Director Ravindra Nath and SBC president Lee sang Jik.
A MoU on Queen Suriratna memorial project was signed to facilitate upgradation and expansion of the existing monument 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 this legendary princess. The new monument will be a tribute to the shared cultural heritage and long-lasting friendship between India and RoK.
The agreement was signed by Additional Chief Secretary and Director-General, Tourism, Uttar Pradesh government Awanish Kumar Awasthi and South Korean envoy to India, Shin Bong Kil.
A MoU between the Gujarat government and Korea Trade Promotion Agency (KOTRA) was inked to enhance industrial and investment relations between South Korean companies and Gujarat through cooperation in areas of urban infrastructure, food processing, agriculture-related industries, startup ecosystem, skill training and development and new and renewable energy.
KOTRA shall open an office in Ahmedabad and will become one of the partner organisations for the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019.
It was signed by Principal Secretary, Industries and Mines, Gujarat government M. K. Das and Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency CEO and president Kwon Pyung-oh.
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