India offers Korea space partnership

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Jan 13, 2014.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    Indian Ambassador to Korea Vishnu Prakash said his country is willing to partner with Korea’s space program.

    “I think that India’s space technology is well developed. The best part of this is that we are doing this at a much lower cost than our international competitors,” the envoy said.

    Prakash was interviewed by The Korea Times in advance of President Park Geun-hye’s visit to India for a summit Wednesday.

    “We offered our Korean friends a couple of years ago to launch their satellites and we are willing to cooperate with them in the area of space.”

    The Korean government has yet to respond directly to the offer.

    “We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean government to cooperate in space. I am sure that one thing will lead to another,” the Indian ambassador said.

    Prakash noted that India’s recent successful launch of a rocket using a cryogenic engine developed with its own technology, along with its previous success in the launch of satellites, is the combined result of the country’s decades-long emphasis on education and science.

    “We are one of the world leaders in information technology and science. And this is the background of the space research program.”

    India has entered an elite group of nations after the successful satellite launch using the cryogenically-powered rocket last week, joining the likes of the United States, Russia, France, China, Japan and the European Space Agency.

    Since taking office, Park — who majored in electronic engineering — has given priority to science and technology as means to move the economy forward.

    Park emphasized the need for the launch of a moon rover no later than 2019.

    Her focus on the space program followed the nation’s successful launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle on its third attempt last year. In January 2013, a satellite designed to collect climate data was launched from the Naro Space Center in Goheung County, South Jeolla Province.

    Korea partnered with Russia in the space program.

    Prakash touted India’s cutting-edge technology in encouraging Korea to consider a space partnership with India.

    “India and Korea complement each other. We have no conflict of interest,” he stressed.

    Park’s state visit came at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July.

    Prakash cautiously previewed the summit.

    “The two leaders’ discussions will be broad-based. They will cover a whole range of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. We have a comprehensive agenda for discussions between the two leaders,” he said.

    “(The two) will be looking at ways and means to strengthen political, strategic and defense cooperation. They will also be looking at our economic and commercial interests, as well as tourism, education and cultural aspects.”

    The envoy declined to give any more information, saying that he would be able to speak in greater detail after the summit.

    Korea and India saw a flurry of high-level visits in defense over the past two years.

    The two sides’ exchange of high-level visits was distinctive particularly last year as both celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

    The two sides have also been active in economic cooperation, investment and trade, particularly after the implementation of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement in 2010.

    Korea’s steel giant POSCO has pushed for the construction of a steel plant in India’s southern region of Odisha. However, project has been delayed for years as it has had difficulty acquiring land.

    The Indian envoy said this hurdle has been removed as land necessary for phase one of the project has almost been acquired.

    “To start phase one, POSCO needs a total of 2,700 acres of land. More than 2,500 acres of land has been acquired so far,” the ambassador said.

    In addition to difficulties in land acquisition, POSCO met a fresh hurdle last year as eight United Nations special rapporteurs called on the steel giant to halt the $12 billion project.

    They raised concerns that the construction will displace some 22,000 people and the livelihoods of the people in the forest area will be negatively affected.

    Despite the challenge, the ambassador noted that he is optimistic that the POSCO project will begin soon.

    He stressed that construction of the steel plant is in India’s best interest.

    “The POSCO project is very important to India. India is the only major country where demand for steel is increasing because we are making heavy investment in infrastructure. The demand for steel will continue to grow,” he said. “(Plus), the POSCO project will be the biggest-ever single investment India has attracted.”

    According to POSCO, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 12 million tons.

    India offers Korea space partnership

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