India and Republic of Korea (South Korea) on Friday agreed to raise the Special Strategic Partnership further providing the navies of the two countries with freedom to use each other’s naval bases for logistics support. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Korea, Jeong Kyeongdoo signed two important agreements in Seoul.

Informing about the agreements, Ministry of Defence in its communiqué said, “The two leaders comprehensively reviewed bilateral defence co-operation. Two agreements signed to further defence educational exchanges and extend logistical support to each other’s Navies.”

Navy sees the agreement to be important as it gives a long leg for the Indian vessel. “The agreement gives vessels of the two countries an ability to be at sea for a long time and to take help of the naval bases of each other for fuel, rest and ration and also basic maintenance,” said an Indian Navy officer on condition of anonymity.

South Korea is located further north of the South China Sea which has sovereignty claim disputes between China, the Philipines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. Indian stand has been that south China issue should be resolved amicably under the international laws.

The Ministers of the two countries noted that defence co-operation lies at the heart of the Special Strategic Partnership between India and ROK. They discussed the ongoing co-operation at Service-to-Service level and prospects for enhanced co-operation between defence industries of India and Korea. The two Ministers also exchanged views on regional and international developments of mutual interest, added MoD.

India and ROK formulated a roadmap to take bilateral Defence Industry co-operation forward.

Rajnath Singh while addressing CEOs of Korean and Indian Defence Industries in Seoul said, “India and Republic of Korea (ROK) have formulated a forward looking roadmap to take bilateral Defence Industry co-operation to the next level. The roadmap has listed a number of proposed areas of co-operation in sectors of Land Systems, Aero Systems, Naval Systems, R&D co-operation and collaboration in Testing, Certification and Quality Assurance.

Rajanth Singh also invited a delegation from Korean Defence Industries to participate in DefExpo 2020 which will be held from 05 – 08 February, 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

CEOs’ Forum was also organized and given detailed information about India’s initiatives to attract investments in Indian Defence Corridors from ROK’s defence industries. Investment opportunities available in defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh & Tamil Nadu and the upcoming DefExpo 2020 was also briefed added the MoD.