Rajnath Singh, S Korean counterpart discuss ways to boost defense ties


PTI, Jul 10, 2020, 3:40 PM IST

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday, July 10 held a telephonic conversation with his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-Doo with a focus on further ramping up bilateral defense cooperation by launching joint production lines for military hardware and key platforms, officials said.

South Korea has been a major supplier of weapons and military equipment in India for the past several years. Last year, the two countries finalized a roadmap for cooperation in the joint production of various land and naval systems.

In May, the government announced relaxing foreign direct investment norms in defense manufacturing by allowing 74 percent FDI under the automatic route with a view to attracting overseas players in the sector.

The telephonic conversation took place in the midst of a tense border row between India and China. It is not immediately known whether the issue figured in the conversation.

A defense ministry statement said views on the regional developments of shared security interests were also discussed during the telephonic call.

The officials said the two ministers reviewed the progress on various bilateral defense cooperation initiatives and expressed commitment to further promote defense cooperation between the armed forces.

“It was also agreed to take forward the agreements in the field of defense industry and defense technology cooperation between India and the Republic of Korea,” the defense ministry said.

Officials said that the two sides discussed ways to launch joint production lines for military hardware and key platforms.

The defense ministry said that the ministers also discussed issues pertaining to the COVID-19 and agreed to work together to deal with the complex challenges posed by the pandemic.

“Singh informed Jeong Kyeong-Doo on India’s contribution to international efforts against COVID-19 and discussed areas of mutual cooperation in the global fight against the pandemic,” it said.

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