Seoul, March 25 (IANS) India said Sunday its growing military ties with South Korea will not impact on its ties with China.
"Our relations with one country are not predicated on ties with other countries," Sanjay Singh, secretary (east) in the Indian external affairs ministry, said at a briefing for the media delegation accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his official visit to South Korea, following which he will attend the March 26-27 Nuclear Security Summit.
The heightended defence ties were unveiled in a joint statement issued after a summit meeting between Manmohan Singh and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
"The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the strengthening bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence and security. Prime Minister Singh conveyed India's decision to set up a defense wing at the Embassy of India, Seoul within this year, which was welcomed by President Lee," the joint statement said.
It said the two leaders shared the view that the foreign policy and security dialogue at the level of South Korea's vice foreign minister and the secretary (east) in the Indian external affairs ministry "was a useful instrument to exchange views and harmonize positions on a vast variety of bilateral, regional and international issues". The next edition of the dialogue would be held within this year in New Delhi.
The two sides exchanged views on the "prevailing complex security situation and underlined the need to actively pursue consultations and cooperation in the field of maritime safety and security both bilaterally and in association with other countries of the region", the joint statement said.
Noting that Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony had visited South Korea in September 2010, and that his South Korean counterpart would reciprocate later this year, the joint statement said: Manmohan Singh and Lee "also agreed to continue high-level exchanges between the defence establishments of both sides, undertake activities as mutually agreed for deepening bilateral defense relations and to explore the possibilities of joint ventures in research & development and manufacture of military equipment, including through the transfer of technology and co-production".
Lee underscored that South Korea "wanted to increase cooperation with India in military and defense industry including, inter alia, naval ships, aircraft, and ship-building", the joint statement said.
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