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India inks nuclear deal with South Korea

world Updated: Jul 25, 2011 19:01 IST

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India on Monday signed a "historic" civil nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea, paving the way for the possibility of Seoul exporting its atomic power plants.

The agreement, signed after summit talks between President Pratibha Patil and her South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, provides legal ground for South Korea's participation in atomic power plant construction projects in India.

Lee termed the nuclear cooperation agreement as "historic" and will act as "a milestone, demonstrating that our two countries have now truly become strategic partners."

South Korea has now become the ninth country which had signed nuclear agreement with India after it got the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) in 2008. The other countries are the US, France, Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia.

"The two countries have just concluded and signed a bilateral agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," said Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East), ministry of external affairs.

"It is like other civil nuclear agreements signed between India and other countries. We look forward to Republic of Korea for becoming one more partner in the development of civil nuclear energy in India," the official said without divulging further details on the agreement and its mandate but termed the deal as a "win-win" for both the nations.