Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Published in Category: International

S. Korea, India to share intel on NK, Pakistan

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NEW DELHI: South Korea and India agreed to shore up joint intelligence commitments by signing an agreement on the sharing of classified military information on the sidelines of a summit between President Park Geun-hye and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Thursday.

Under the enhanced bilateral relationship, they are expected to exchange sensitive intelligence, including nuclear proliferation activities by North Korea and Pakistan, their respective “rivals,” more briskly, according to The Korean TImes.

“The two leaders welcomed the conclusion of the Agreement on the Protection of Classified Military Information, which they believe will contribute to enhancing mutual confidence and cooperation in the military field,” a joint statement issued after the summit read.

Under the pact, the two countries will protect each other’s military secrets. Plus, they will not share them with any third-party nations without prior written approval.

Park also voiced her appreciation to India, which is set to enable Korean citizens to visit the world’s second-most-populous country without getting visas in advance.

“President Park welcomed the government of India’s decision to provide tourist visa-on-arrival facilities to (Korea) nationals,” the statement said. “The modalities will be worked out soon between the two sides.”

After India finishes preparing for the change, Koreans will be able to receive a single-entry tourist visa, which would be valid for 30 days, on arrival at a number of designated Indian airports.

Park and Singh will also try to upgrade the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a trade pact between the two countries that went into effect beginning 2010.

“Both sides shared the view that the CEPA has contributed to enhancing trade and investment flows between the two countries,” the statement read.

“The two leaders reaffirmed the need to increase trade in goods and services and investment through the upgrading of the CEPA, and agreed to make every effort to complete the process at the earliest.”

Toward that end, Park and Singh agreed that their trade ministers will meet in the first half of the year in Seoul.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said that India was originally reluctant to revise the CEPA, which would include measures such as further tariff reductions, but it has changed its stance on the occasion of Park’s visit.

Singh asked Park to take advantage of India’s facilities in launching satellites.

“Prime Minister Singh reiterated the Indian offer of launching (Korea’s) satellites on Indian satellite launch vehicles on a commercial basis,” the statement said.