NATIONAL

Korea, India agree to strengthen defense cooperation, economic ties

By Yonhap
  • Published : Feb 22, 2019 - 13:10
  • Updated : Feb 22, 2019 - 13:10

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed Friday to strengthen military ties and defense industry cooperation between the two countries.

During their summit in Seoul, the leaders also agreed to complete the two nations' negotiations to upgrade their bilateral free trade pact at an early date, according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.


(Yonhap)

Modi arrived in Seoul on Thursday for a two-day state visit.

His trip reciprocated Moon's state visit to India last year.

After a one-on-one meeting and an expanded session involving their aides, the two leaders agreed to bolster bilateral military ties and defense industry cooperation and to better cope with the so-called fourth industrial revolution, Cheong Wa Dae said.

Moon and Modi also agreed to speed up negotiations to enhance the countries' free trade agreement, known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which took effect in January 2010. Seven rounds of talks have been held to push for further market liberalization.

The leaders vowed efforts to closely cooperate to achieve their shared goal of raising two-way trade volume to $50 billion by 2030.

To this end, the nations agreed to complete the CEPA-related negotiations at an early date and seek to improve trade-related systems for easier market access.

The leaders also discussed the North Korea issue ahead of a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un set for next Wednesday and Thursday in Vietnam.

Modi expressed his support for Moon's efforts to seek complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establish a permanent peace regime, Cheong Wa Dae said.

South Korea and India upgraded their bilateral ties to a special strategic partnership during Moon's trip to New Delhi in July 2018. They established their diplomatic ties in 1973.

India is positioned as a key country in South Korea's New Southern Policy, Moon's diplomatic policy of improving strategic ties with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and India. (Yonhap)