Yoon, Indian PM discuss security, economic cooperation

SEOUL– President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol spoke by phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and discussed expanding cooperation on security and economic issues, Yoon’s spokesperson said.

During the 20-minute call, Yoon said he hopes to deepen and develop the two countries’ special strategic partnership on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations next year, Kim Eun-hye, the spokesperson, said in a written briefing.
“I have a firm determination to widen the horizon for practical cooperation on foreign affairs and security with India, a leading nation in the region that shares the values and philosophy of a liberal democracy,” Yoon said.

The president-elect also noted the “endless” possibilities India’s growth potential, large market and abundant workforce offer for the bilateral relationship.

Modi said he is confident of Yoon’s successful presidency and stressed the importance of his country’s partnership with South Korea at a time when the geopolitical risks in the region are growing.

He also expressed hope for a deepening of the two countries’ friendly ties during Yoon’s term, the spokesperson said.

During the call, the two agreed to work together to increase cooperation on new industries in connection with climate change and a green economy and to secure a stable global supply chain.

At the end of the call, Modi said he hopes to have the opportunity to welcome Yoon in person, saying “thank you” and “goodbye” in Korean.

Yoon also said he hopes to meet with the prime minister at an early date to discuss economic cooperation.

The call was Yoon’s fifth with a foreign leader since his election last week. Last Thursday, he spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden, followed by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday.

With the latest call, Yoon has spoken with the leaders of all four member nations of the Quad, a U.S.-led security forum widely regarded as an anti-China coalition.

During the campaign, Yoon pledged to seek South Korea’s gradual entry into Quad after participating in the forum’s working groups on vaccines, climate change and new technologies.

The Quad is comprised of the U.S., Australia, India and Japan.

Modi tweeted that it was a pleasure to speak with Yoon.

“Conveyed my congratulations on his recent victory in the Presidential elections in Republic of Korea,” he wrote. “We discussed the potential of further deepening the India-Korea Special Strategic Partnership in many areas.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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