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Yoon, Modi agree to strengthen defense cooperation

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : May 20, 2023 - 14:04

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President Yoon Suk Yeol, who visits Japan to attend the G7 summit, shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Korea-India summit held at a hotel in Hiroshima on Saturday. (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol, who visits Japan to attend the G7 summit, shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Korea-India summit held at a hotel in Hiroshima on Saturday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have agreed to develop cooperation in the defense industry, and advanced technologies in digital, biohealth and space during a bilateral summit held on the sidelines of the G7 summit, according to the Korean presidential office on Saturday.

On the second day of his visit to Japan, Yoon met Modi at a hotel in Hiroshima at around 10:30 a.m. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders, whose nations commemorate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year.

The defense industy cooperation was to include the K-9 self-propelled howitzer, the presidential office said. The office did not say what form this cooperation would take, but India has previously purchased 300 units of the K-9 Vajra, an export version of the howitzer.

At the summit, the two leaders agreed to advance the Korea-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which took effect in 2010, to expand trade between the two countries and explore new areas of cooperation, Yoon’s spokesperson Lee Do-hoon told reporters in Hiroshima.

Yoon expressed his gratitude for Modi's attendance at the second Democracy Summit co-hosted by Korea and the United States in March. Saying the two nations "share democratic values," he urged the leader of India to address regional and global issues in solidarity with Korea.

Modi agreed and asked Yoon to enhance strategic communication and cooperation between the two countries.

The two leaders expressed their shared commitment to promoting regional peace and stability, in alignment with South Korea's Indo-Pacific strategy and India's Act East Policy, as stated by Lee.

They also agreed to support the development of the "Global South," referring to emerging and developing countries located in the southern hemisphere.

According to Lee, Yoon asked Modi to ensure the application of fair and reasonable tariff standards for Korean companies operating in India.