New Delhi, Jan 16 IBNS | 10 months ago

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.

In his statement to the media during the state visit of President of Republic of Korea, Singh said: "Political and security cooperation between our two countries is expanding steadily. President Park and I have decided to establish an annual interaction between the national security structures of our two countries.

"We also have agreed to launch a Cyber Affairs Dialogue between our Governments."

The PM said India and the Republic of Korea recently held the first round of structured consultation between senior defence officials.

"President Park and I have recognized the possibility of defence trade and joint production by further promoting collaboration between our defence research organizations," said Singh.

"The Agreement on the Protection of Classified Military Information signed today will also boost our defence engagement," he said.

The PM further said: "In the area of Science and Technology, our collaboration has been highly rewarding, with many practical projects being financed through the 10 million US dollar Joint Fund that we established in 2010.

"The Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Applied Research signed today will enable our scientists to work together and develop technologies for our common benefit. We are also stepping up collaboration in the peaceful uses of space science and technology."

"Distance has been no barrier to communication between the people of India and Korea since ancient times, and we are determined to bring them ever closer in the years that lie ahead," said the PM.

He said the Cultural Centres set up in Seoul and New Delhi have energized people-to-people engagement.

"Korean tourists are visiting India in increasing numbers. I have conveyed to President Park the decision of the Government of India to extend a 'tourist visa on arrival facility' to nationals of the Republic of Korea. We are also exploring the possibility of better civil aviation links," said Singh.

"President Park and I have also had an opportunity to touch upon regional issues, particularly developments in the Korean peninsula and our cooperation in the East Asia Summit processes," said Singh.

"The visit of President Park has imparted fresh momentum to our partnership. I am confident that our talks today have laid out a road map for the expansion and enhancement of our Strategic Partnership in the coming years," he said.

(Posted on 16-01-2014)

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