Modi, South Korea's Moon to discuss trade, defence ties

Moon at Akshardham South Korean President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook perform a ritual at the Akshardham temple | AFP photo/ Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple

South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Delhi on Sunday on his first state visit to India during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on key issues such as the situation on the Korean peninsula and ways to boost trade and defence cooperation.

The South Korean president along with Modi will visit the Gandhi Smriti on Monday. Modi and Moon will also visit a Samsung plant in Noida.

Modi and Moon will also address an India-Republic of Korea CEOs round-table.

Moon was received at the Delhi Airport by Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh, ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Moon will hold talks with Modi on Tuesday during his four-day visit, which India expects would open new avenues for expanding the bilateral partnership, particularly in the economic domain.

Ahead of the visit, a spokesperson in Moon's office in Seoul had said Moon and Modi will focus on expanding "future-oriented cooperation" between the two countries.

There has been an upswing in India's defence cooperation with South Korea, and both sides are expected to explore ways to enhance it.

“We expect to cover bilateral, regional and global issues during talks the president will have with different dignitaries. We expect the visit to open new avenues for the expansion of our partnership, particularly in the economic domain," Kumar had said.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj are expected to call on the visiting leader on Monday. Moon will also attend the India-Korea business forum during the visit.

During the visit, Moon will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind, who will host a banquet in his honour.

Modi visited South Korea in May 2015 during which the bilateral partnership was elevated to a special strategic partnership.