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(LEAD) Moon vows efforts to strengthen ties with India, support S. Korean residents

All Headlines 01:40 July 10, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS photo)

NEW DELHI, July 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed efforts to further expand his country's cooperation with India, noting that this may also help improve the livelihood of his people living in the South Asian country.

"The government will work to make sure the development in the relationship between the two countries will lead to changes in the lives of our fellow countrymen here," the president said while meeting with South Korean residents and business representatives in New Delhi.

Moon arrived in New Delhi on Sunday for a four-day state visit.

The South Korean president said the countries currently faced a great opportunity to improve their bilateral relationship.

"Shortly after my inauguration, I sent a special envoy to India, becoming the first president in history to do so, as I hoped to upgrade the country's relationship with India to the level of those with the four major powers," Moon told the meeting, referring to China, Japan, Russia and the United States as the major powers.

President Moon Jae-in (R) and his wife Kim Jung-sook (second from R) clap their hands while watching a dance performance by an Indian K-pop dance team in a meeting with South Korean residents in India, held in New Delhi on July 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

Moon's remarks came one day before he was set to hold a bilateral summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"In November last year, the government announced the New Southern Policy that encompasses India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Prime Minister Modi too is pushing for his Act East Policy, and places great importance in his country's relationship with our country as a key nation of economic cooperation," the president said.

"Right now, South Korea and India are facing the best chance to develop their bilateral relationship," he added. "Tomorrow, I will meet Prime Minister Modi and President (Ram Nath) Kovind and discuss practical ways for the two countries to practically cooperate in various areas. I will work to meet the expectation of my fellow countrymen and open a new horizon of joint prosperity between South Korea and India."

Moon also vowed increased support for South Korean residents in India.

"First, the government will greatly expand business opportunities for our companies by expanding the practical cooperation between the two countries. It will also help remove difficulties faced by our companies here by closely consulting with the Indian government," the president said.

"It will also strengthen its cooperation in consular services. By holding regular visits and talks between the leaders of the two countries, we will create a permanent joint consultation body between the two governments to improve issues related to visa issuance," he said.

The South Korean president also vowed continued cooperation between the two countries in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula, noting India's support has been a great help to the inter-Korean rapprochement that followed his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on April 27.

"The government will continue to move toward peace and prosperity while working with India and the rest of the international community," President Moon said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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