SEOUL: India and South Korea Saturday explored ways to strengthen bilateral ties which have taken a “sharp upward trajectory” and discussed issues like anti-piracy and disaster relief.
Defence Minister Mr A K Antony, who is on a two-day visit here, called on South Korean President Mr Lee Myung-bak and the two leaders expressed satisfaction over the “sharp upward trajectory” that the relations had taken in the recent times, Defence Ministry spokesperson Mr Sitanshu Kar said.
“The two leaders discussed all issues relating to strengthening of relationship between the two countries. They expressed satisfaction at the sharp upward trajectory that the relationship has taken,” he said in a statement here.
The ramping up of the ties between the two countries follows the visit of the South Korean President to India in January this year.
During that visit, it was decided to elevate the bilateral relationship to a “strategic partnership” level encompassing defence, trade and scientific research.
The two leaders noted that India and South Korea “shared common values and understanding” on issues of regional and global security.
Mr Antony also held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr 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,” Mr Kar said.
Mr Antony and his counterpart Mr Kim Tae-Young signed two Memoranda of Understanding for a five-year defence cooperation for sharing of military expertise and technology, which can be extended by another five years if the two sides so desired.