President Moon Jae-in’s visit lend momentum to India-Korea ties: Envoy

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New Delhi | Updated: July 14, 2018 1:19 AM

The visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to India was "remarkable" and "very successful" and lend momentum to upgrade the overall relationship between the two countries, the country's envoy here today said

Moon Jae in, Moon Jae in india visit, India-Korea ties, South Korea, india, South Asia, world newsSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in. (Reuters)

The visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to India was “remarkable” and “very successful” and lend momentum to upgrade the overall relationship between the two countries, the country’s envoy here today said. Korean envoy Bong-kil Shin, at an interactive session at the Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia, also said that Moon’s state visit was a “milestone” in re-energising the partnership between the two countries. “Our President was very warmly received in India. He was very happy to establish a personal bonding … with Prime Minister Modi. Also, I was moved, seeing pictures in the press of the president’s visit to various places in the city,” he said.

President Moon, accompanied by a Korean delegation, visited India from July 8-11. During his visit, he held wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attended a forum of top business leaders from both the countries, and with Modi jointly inaugurated world’s largest mobile phone factory of South Korean consumer electronics major Samsung in Noida, which will double its annual handset production capacity to 120 million units by 2020. On July 10, the two sides inked a total of 10 agreements covering a broad spectrum of areas including infrastructure, trade, railways, artificial intelligence, big data and anti-dumping.

They also signed a document to facilitate negotiations to upgrade the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and set a goal of raising bilateral trade from current USD 20 billion to USD 50 billion by 2030. “Our president’s visit was remarkable, very successful and lend momentum to upgrade the overall relationship between the two countries. It was also a milestone to reenergise the partnership between Korea and India,” Bong-kil said.

Later responding to a question from the press on Japan’s collaboration for high-speed rail project in India, the envoy said, South Korea has interest in this area, and it can “compete with Japan or any other country” in this sector. On what role India can play in achieving denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the envoy said, “India can play a serious role in resolving the nuclear issue… With regard to non-proliferation, India and South Korea have the same interest.”

India is a stakeholder in the peace process in the Korean peninsula, Modi had said on July 10 after holding wide-ranging talks with the South Korean president during which they had resolved to significantly expand strategic cooperation. On a question on the prospects of North Korea and South Korea’s integration, the envoy said, “President Moon Jae-in is a visionary person. His vision is that political unification cannot happen without economic integration.”

“So, the immediate goal is to integrate the two economies, and then go for political integration,” he said. On cooperation in the defence sector, the ambassador said, Korea has interest in investing in the defence industry and also using the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative. “I think it will be a win-win situation,” he said.

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