World

Want to expand defence, maritime cooperation with Japan and South Korea: Rajanth Singh

Seoul [South Korea]: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India wants to increase defence and maritime cooperation with Japan and South Korea. "The motive of Seoul Defense Dialogue is to promote peace and cooperation. I met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister. I also met Defence Ministers from both the countries. Both countries are our strategic partners. We want to expand defence cooperation and maritime cooperation with them. I felt that Japan and Korea too, want to expand their cooperation with India," he said while talking to media here. The Defence Minister said talks regarding defence cooperation have gone well. "We talked about that too, that they should invest in our country and the Indian government would provide maximum facilities. If investments take place, it will be a boost to 'Make in India'," he added. Singh said he got a positive response from Japanese and Korean leaders on the issue of tackling terrorism. "They all want terrorism to be uprooted and on this question, the international community should be on board," he said. Emphasising on the need for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, Singh said the regions should be secure and the countries in the region should also develop. "India thinks there should be no stress between any country in the world. The relations should be normal as it benefits not just the two countries but others as well," he said. India and South Korea on Friday signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Jeong Kyeong- Doo here with an aim to intensify defence cooperation between the two countries. The Defence Minister also held bilateral talks with his South Korean counterpart where they reviewed defence cooperation between both countries. Singh is currently on a three-day visit to South Korea since Wednesday with an aim to intensify bilateral defence and security relations. India is developing strong military hardware cooperation with South Korea as the Indian Army has already inducted the K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers (which has roots in South Korea's K-9 Thunder) built in partnership with the Indian firm Larsen and Toubro.

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