NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi accompanied South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Gandhi Smriti on Monday, one of the 10 interactions the two leaders are expected to have during Moon’s four-day official visit to India.
Moon, who arrived on Sunday evening, was received at the airport by Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh and visited the Akshardham temple later in the day.
On Monday, minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj held talks with Moon, while Union Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-Chong signed agreements on trade and commerce after a breakfast meeting.
“Trade and commerce will play their own roles in taking bilateral relations between both the countries forward. We are going to take this relationship to a new level. We had a fruitful and forward-looking discussion. Some ideas have come forward, while some are a work in progress,” Prabhu told media persons here.
Later in the evening, Modi joined Moon — who is on his first trip to India since taking office in May 2017 — on his visit to Gandhi Smriti before leaving for a new production facility of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. in Noida.
Earlier in the day, Moon attended an India-Korea Business Forum meeting at the Taj Diplomatic Hotel. Meanwhile, South Korea ’s first lady Kim Jung-sook has invited the Phogats, on whom the movie Dangal is based, for tea.
According to Moon’s office, “India has arranged a very special schedule for the president, with PM Modi jointly visiting the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial with a foreign leader for the first time in history and also attending the inauguration ceremony of a factory, in which the Indian government has no stake.”
Modi was one of the few world leaders to congratulate Moon on his election last year.
On Tuesday, after the ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the two sides will hold bilateral and delegation-level talks. Modi will then host an official lunch and attend a state dinner to be hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Moon will leave on Wednesday for Singapore for a bilateral summit with PM Lee Hsien Loong before returning home on Friday.
More than a state visit
Though Moon is paying a state visit to India at Modi’s invitation, it also comes as part of his New Southern Policy, which seeks to greatly expand South Korea’s diplomatic and economic relations with India and 10 member countries of the ASEAN.