Antony meets South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul

Seoul (South Korea), Sep 4 (ANI): Defence Minister AK Antony, who is currently on an official visit to South Korea, called on President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul.

The duo discussed all issues relating to strengthening of relationship between the two countries on Friday evening.

They expressed satisfaction at the sharp upward trajectory that the relationship has taken following the visit of the South Korean President to India in January this year when it was decided to elevate the bilateral relationship to a 'strategic partnership' encompassing defence, trade and scientific research.

The two leaders noted that India and South Korea share common values and understanding on issues of regional and global security.

Antony also called on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan, and expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation and shared visions of the two countries.

They exchanged views on anti-piracy, disaster relief and other areas of mutual interest.

Earlier on Friday, India and South Korea inked two landmark Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) to give a huge boost to strategic defence cooperation between the two nations.

The two MoUs were signed in the presence of A K Antony and his South Korean counterpart Kim Tae-young in Seoul.

The first MoU envisages an exchange of defence-related experience and information, a mutual exchange of visits by military personnel and experts, including civilian staff associated with the defence services, military education and training and the conduct of military exercises.

It also envisages an exchange of visits of ships and aircraft, as jointly decided between the two countries.

The MoU aims to promote cooperation in humanitarian assistance and international peace keeping activities, and will remain valid for five years with a provision for extension for five more years.

The Second MoU signed by the Chief Controller of Research and Development of DRDO, Dr Prahlada and Vice Commissioner, Defence Acquisition and Procurement Agency (DAPA) of South Korea, Kwon Oh Bong will seek to identify futuristic defence technology areas of mutual interest and pursuing of research and development works in both countries.

Co- development and co-production of defence products with Indian industry through DRDO are also envisaged.

There will be joint IPR on all the products developed through this mechanism. Some areas of immediate interest e.g., marine systems, electronics and intelligent systems have been identified as priority tasks.

The talks between the two countries covered a wide range of security issues- both regional and global.

During his two-day visit to South Korea, Antony is accompanied by a high-level delegation including the Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Vice Admiral RK Dhowan, Lt General KT Parnaik, Dr. Prahlada and Sundaram Krishna. (ANI)

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