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S. Korean president calls for increased cooperation with India

All Headlines 04:00 February 20, 2019

SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for efforts to further expand the bilateral cooperation between his country and India on Wednesday, insisting their cooperation will mutually benefit the countries.

"We will spur future cooperation. India is home to a world-class pool of ICT professionals and an innovative business ecosystem in addition to basic science and technology. Korea has advanced information and communication technology as well as manufacturing and commercialization capabilities," President Moon said in a special contribution to India's leading English-language daily, Times of India.

"If our nations can combine our strengths harmoniously, I believe that we will be able to jointly lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution," Moon wrote, according to the text released by his office Cheong Wa Dae.

The special contribution came as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was set to arrive here Thursday on a two-day state visit. The two leaders will hold a bilateral summit here on Friday.

In the photo taken July 10, 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands after holding a joint press conference on the outcome of their bilateral summit held in New Delhi during Moon's state visit to India. (Yonhap)

"I believe it is truly meaningful to have Prime Minister Modi as the first state guest of Korea in this important year," Moon said, noting India marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of its late former leader Mahatma Gandhi while Seoul celebrates the 100th anniversary of the establishment of its provisional government and the March 1 Independence Movement.

"A profound friendship connects India and Korea, which is the rationale behind our high expectations for the future that we will unfold together. An Asian era will surely come, and our two countries will stand at its center," the president said.

Moon said he and Modi also shared many similarities.

"We have concretely discussed our future and how our two countries will play a leading role in the era of Asia," the president said of his summit with the Indian prime minister held during his state visit to New Delhi in July.

"Key words we share are people, prosperity and peace. We will build a prosperous and peaceful community where both our peoples can thrive," he added.

The president said the leaders' agreement to expand bilateral cooperation may have already come to bear fruit, noting the countries' bilateral trade reached a record high of US$21.5 billion last year.

"We have agreed to increase bilateral trade to $50 billion by 2030 while expanding cooperation to include infrastructure, advanced science and technology, space, the defense industry and energy," said Moon.

He also thanked India for supporting his country's efforts to denuclearize North Korea and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

"If permanent peace is established on the Peninsula, this will greatly contribute to peace and prosperity all throughout Asia. I am looking forward to India's unwavering support as it has played a significant role in the global peace movement," he said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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