Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 10, 2018 said India is a stakeholder in the peace process in the Korean peninsula after he held wide-ranging deliberations with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that focused on deepening strategic cooperation between the two countries.
In the talks, the two sides agreed to significantly enhance cooperation in a range of areas including defence and security, artificial intelligence, trade besides resolving to work together for regional peace and prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The two countries inked a total of 10 agreements covering a broad spectrum of areas for cooperation and signed a document to facilitate negotiations to upgrade the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
At a joint media event with Moon, Modi indirectly referred to North Korea’s proliferation linkages with Pakistan and that it was a reason why India is a stakeholder in the peace process.
“During our talks, I told President Moon that proliferation linkages between North-East Asia and South Asia is a matter of concern to India. Therefore, India is also a stakeholder in the peace process. We will do our bit to ensure peace,” Modi said in his press statement.
India has been pressing for a probe into North Korea’s nuclear proliferation linkages with Pakistan and demanded that those responsible for it should be held accountable.
The two sides also released a vision document articulating ways to boost their strategic cooperation and reaffirming convergence of their views in dealing with maritime conflicts, in a clear reference to China’s expansionist behaviour in critical sea lanes.
The vision document said the two leaders also reaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds and sought coordinated regional and global efforts.
It said both sides agreed to explore further possibilities to coordinate efforts in defence and strategic spheres and will enhance military exchanges, training and experience-sharing.
The two sides also resolved to work together to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems, particularly to terrorists and non-state actors.
Referring to the recent summit between North Korea and South Korea and talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the two leaders hoped that these developments will contribute to complete denuclearisation as well as lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean side also supported India’s bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The two countries also agreed to explore tripartite partnership for development in third countries, beginning with capacity building programmes in Afghanistan.
Referring to disputes in the maritime sphere, the vision document said both Modi and Moon recognised the link between prosperity and security and reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce.
“We supported initiatives for peaceful resolution of conflict through dialogue, underlying the centrality of sovereignty and territorial integrity, in accordance with the universally-recognised principles of international law,” it said, seen as a clear reference to China.