Monday, November 29, 1999

India, South Korea to discuss civil nuclear cooperation

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New Delhi, Jun 16 (PTI) India and South Korea will explore possibility of a civilian nuclear deal and ways to further trade and business ties during a Joint Commission meeting co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in Seoul on Friday. Krishna and his South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-hwan will co-chair the 6th meeting of the India-South Korea Joint Commission and explore prospects of stepping up cooperation in the defence sector, particularly in counter-terrorism. "Some agreements are likely to be concluded after the talks," Vishnu Prakash, External Affairs Ministry spokesman told reporters. During his three-day visit, beginning tomorrow, Krishna will call on President Lee Myung-bak, meet the Defence Minister Kim Tae-young, address the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security as also the Indian community. Bilateral trade between India and South Korea was 15 billion dollars in 2008 and the two countries have decided to double it by 2014. "Civil nuclear cooperation will be discussed during the meeting. We do not know in what direction it would go, but we will have something for the press at the end of the meeting," Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the MEA, said. South Korea, a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, supported the waiver for India in the NSG in September 2008. On defence cooperation, he said the two countries were exploring possibilities of cooperation in anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. Prakash said a Festival of India would be organised across South Korea in 2011. He noted that the South Korean President was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations this year.

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