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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for South Korea on a three-day official visit

New Delhi, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 24 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, left on Saturday morning on a three-day visit of the Republic of Korea.

During his visit, Dr. Singh will hold bilateral talks with the South Korean leadership, including talks with President Lee Myung-bak.

He will also attend the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul where he is expected to reveal the safeguards taken by India against nuclear terrorism and air New Delhi's concerns over safety.

In a departure statement released ahead of his visit, Dr. Singh said, "India is expanding its nuclear power programme to diversify its energy mix and enhance energy security. I will highlight the high priority we attach to nuclear security, safety and non-proliferation, and our impeccable record in this regard."

Pointing out that India is expanding its nuclear power programme to diversify its energy mix and enhance energy security, Dr. Singh said that in order to retain public support for harnessing the benefits of nuclear energy, "we must be able to assure them of the highest levels of nuclear security and safety."

Dr. Singh described the Nuclear Security Summit being held in South Korea as an important forward development, especially in the wake of the crisis created last year by the radioactive leak at nuclear plants in Fukushima, Japan.

Meanwhile, those opposed to the setting up of nuclear plants are continuing with their protests in various capitals of the world, including in Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Bangkok and in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

At a bilateral level, Dr. Singh has described South Korea as a strategic partner.

He said: "The Republic of Korea is a strategic partner and an important pillar of our 'Look East' policy. We have a vibrant trade and investment relationship. Our partnership in science and technology, education and energy holds enormous promise."

He added: "As members of various multilateral forums such as the East Asia Summit and G-20, our two countries have shared interests on a range of emerging political, security and economic issues. I will use my meeting with President Lee to exchange views on important regional and international developments."

Dr. Singh is also expected to meet leading Korean business leaders and other leaders during his visit. (ANI)

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