South Korea, India sign nuclear power pact

South Korea, India sign nuclear power pact

South Korea and India on Monday signed a political agreement on nuclear energy cooperation, paving the way for South Korean companies to sell power plants to New Delhi, a news report said, dpa reported


The agreement was inked in Seoul after talks between Indian President Pratibha Patil and her counterpart Lee Myung Bak, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The deal is a prerequisite for any nuclear power trade between the countries.

India has 20 nuclear reactors, six more under construction and is aiming for another 40 in the next 20 years to power its fast-growing economy.

It has been sourcing equipment and services for the new plants from the United States, France and Russia.

The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp has expressed an interest in the Indian nuclear power market.

South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, has been increasing its presence in the sector, seeing off international rivals in 2009 to secure a 18.6-billion-dollar contract for four nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

Patil arrived in South Korea Sunday for a four-day visit. During her talks with Lee, the two sides agreed to improve a free trade agreement to reflect changes in the trade environment since it was put in place in January 2010, a statement from Lee's office said.

They said they would work on an aviation pact, a maritime shipment accord and a double-taxation prevention treaty. They also agreed to cooperate on a series of events to mark a year of cultural exchanges between the two countries, the statement said.

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