India, S Korea reach agreement on civil nuclear cooperation

This announcement was made after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met South Korean President Lee Myung-bak here today on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
"We have finalised agreement on cooperation in civil uses of nuclear energy which is now awaiting signature," National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon told reporters after the meeting.

Korea will be the ninth country with which India will be signing the nuclear agreement after it got the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) in 2008. The others are the US, France, Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia.
The NSA noted that the two countries have made considerable progress in various aspects of the relations, including civil aviation and space.

The two leaders also discussed issues relating to G-20 and stressed that it is important not only to take decisions but have a system of systematic implementation so that they are carried forward over several years.

Both agreed to work together in G-20, whose Summit is taking place in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, next month.Singh and Lee also discussed various aspects of the relations but significantly Korean steel project POSCO in Orissa, which is stuck in clearances, did not figure in their talks, according to Menon.

On the eve of the meeting between Singh and Lee, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma yesterday promised to address the clearance issues related to POSCO steel plant in Orissa in a "very constructive manner".

The 12-billion-dollar POSCO project of South Korea, the largest foreign investment project in India, has got stuck because of clearances.

"There are issues which have delayed clearances. These are being deeply seen by the government," Sharma had said, adding India would "reassure" Korean leaders and business that investments will be encouraged and "any issue still to be addressed, will be addressed in a very constructive manner."

Korea has been repeatedly expressing concern over the delay in the project and pushing India that the clearances should be given fast

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