PM embarks on four-day South Korea visit tomorrow

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves tomorrow on a four-day visit to South Korea to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves tomorrow on a four-day visit to South Korea where he will seek to strengthen ties with the Asian economic partner and also participate in the Nuclear Security Summit.
During his visit to Seoul, Singh is scheduled to hold talks with President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday to forge closer economic ties.

This will be the second official visit by an Indian Prime Minister to South Korea after the visit of P V Narasimha Rao in 1993.

The two countries will sign an agreement on simplifying
issuance of visas and Singh and Lee would also issue a joint
statement.

"The Prime Minister’s visit aims to give depth and
greater meaning to our Strategic Partnership and to the
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement," Foreign
Secretary Ranjan Mathai said ahead of the visit.

Singh would also seek to strengthen people-to-people
contacts between the two countries, strengthen cooperation in
the field of science and technology, and also coordinate the
thinking on matters relating to regional security and
international events.

Singh is also scheduled to interact with leading CEOs of
South Korean corporations on Monday morning.

On Monday evening, Singh will attend a dinner for the
leaders attending the second Nuclear Security Summit. The
leaders, including US President Barack Obama and 57 others,
will review the progress made since the first Nuclear Summit
held in Washington in 2010.

Steps to strengthen nuclear security and measures to
prevent terrorists getting access to atomic weapons will top
the agenda of the Summit.

"The main objective of the Summit has been high-level
attention on the global threat posed by nuclear terrorism and
the measures that are required to prevent terrorists and other
non-state actors from gaining access to sensitive nuclear
materials and technologies," Mathai said.

The Summit is intended to take stock of the progress in
implementing the Communiqué and Work Plan of the first Summit
held in Washington in 2010 "as well as agree on new measures
that would be reflected in the Summit Communiqué".

"A number of countries are expected to speak on steps
taken to strengthen nuclear security after the Washington
Summit in the form of national progress reports. These will be
made public during the Summit," Mathai said.

Mathai said India was "committed" to the success of the
Summit and the Prime Minister`s participation in the Seoul
summit, as also the Washington summit, was a "demonstration of
our high-level commitment".

To a question, the Foreign Secretary said there were no
plans yet to have bilateral meetings with Obama or the
Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

"It is not the theme of the summit. But Individual
national statements may cover other issues including of the
nature which you have mentioned," Mathai said to questions
whether Iran would be discussed in the Summit.

He said the focus of the Summit was essentially nuclear
security and the measures to prevent terrorists from gaining
access to sensitive nuclear material for malicious purposes.

PTI

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