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ROK-India defense ministers’ talks

[ROK-India defense ministers’ talks] India to continue its support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula … The two ministers discussed ways to strengthen defense exchange and cooperation

ROK-India defense ministers’ talks

Foreign and defense vice ministers’ meeting and meeting of each armed service held
Minister Suh asked his Indian counterpart to share know-how regarding the UN PKO ministers’ meeting
“Construction of a park to mark the friendship between the two countries…a symbol of bilateral cooperation”

ROK-India defense ministers’ talks

Minister of National Defense Suh Wook and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh agreed to work to invigorate bilateral defense exchange cooperation, an effort which had been postponed due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two ministers also agreed to maintain the impetus for exchange cooperation by holding regular meetings of each armed service and information exchange meetings, as well as the foreign and defense vice ministers’ meeting (2+2 meeting).

A ministry spokesperson announced that the two ministers discussed the ways to strengthen the defense exchange and defense industry cooperation between the two countries at the bilateral talks held in New Delhi, India, on March 26.

During the meeting, Suh explained the recent situation on the Korean Peninsula and our government’s peace process on the peninsula. Responding to Suh, Minister Singh clarified that India will continue to support the Korean government’s policies to achieve the denuclearization of and the establishment of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. On the need to cooperate in various areas, including space, cyber security, maritime security, international peacekeeping operations (PKO), and logistics cooperation, the two ministers agreed to continue to develop the related cooperation areas.

Significantly, on the topic of PKO cooperation, Suh asked Singh to “share India’s abundant experience and know-how related to PKO,” by inviting him to the UN PKO ministers’ meeting, slated to be held in Seoul this December. “The Indian government will actively support the Korean government to ensure the successful hosting of this UN PKO ministers’ meeting,” Singh replied.

The two ministers also shared the recognition that the ‘roadmap for ROK-India defense industry cooperation’ agreed upon last year has paved the way for reciprocal defense industry cooperation between the two countries. They also shared the assessment that the strengthening of defense industry cooperation not only embraces joint research & development, production, and marketing, but also contributes to the ‘Make in India’ policy being pushed by the Indian government.

Suh asked India to pay special attention to export industries, including the integrated protection system and minesweepers from Korean companies.

Ending the meeting, the two ministers agreed on the need to build an international order based on regulations that follow a spirit of openness, transparency, and inclusiveness for the India-Pacific region.

Earlier in the day, Suh attended the opening ceremony for the ‘ROK-India friendship park,’ which has been promoted to fulfill an agreement made between the leaders of the two countries signed in 2019. He conveyed a message of friendship, solidarity and peace between the two countries, paying tribute to the dedication and sacrifice of the Indian troops who participated in the Korean War.

“The construction of a ‘friendship park’ dedicated to a specific country is a first for India. This is a good symbol of the omnidirectional cooperation between the ROK and India,” Singh said.

On March 27, meanwhile, Suh expressed thanks on behalf of the ROK during his visit to the 60-bed field hospital of Indian troops, deployed to the ROK during the Korean War.

By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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